I was supposed to celebrate Christmas with our relatives in Korea but I opted to stay because of two reasons: My brother and Alice. He said he’d come here instead so our parents decided to just spend the holiday here. On the other hand, Alice would be alone this Christmas because her Mom and Dad would be on business trips for the rest of the vacation break.
“Yup. I’m here na. Okay.”
Mickey, our driver, stopped the car right in front of Alice’s house and he helped me with the things I brought. A few seconds later, Alice came into the view and she immediately hugged me. I got worried because she only hugs us when she’s hurt or lonely.
We went inside their house and I sat on the couch in the living room. Jess would be late and Steff couldn’t come here because she’d spend the break in Canada with her family.
“Ah, saan pala si Tita at si Tito?” I asked awkwardly and I felt embarrassed after speaking in Filipino.
I was expecting Alice to laugh at me but she showed me tears instead. I ran to her and gave her a hug, just enough for her to feel secured and comforted.
Alice seldomly cries and seeing her bawl her eyes out made my heart heavy. It took her a few minutes to calm down and she told me the reason why she couldn’t attend yesterday.
“At least, Tita’s okay now,” I said to lessen her worries.
“Yeah,” she smiled but I could see the pain in her eyes.
I couldn’t believe Kevin did that, but Tito was at fault, too. It was frustrating because Alice had to get hurt by both men she trusts the most.
“Tara, let’s eat outside,” I said as I pulled her arm.
“Huh? ‘Di ba may dala kang food—”
She finally nodded and we booked a ride to the nearest restaurant. We ordered everything she wanted to eat and a glass of beer.
“Cheers!” we yelled as we shared a toast.
Alice always cheers us up and this time, I want to do the same thing to her.
I snapped a shot of her and posted it on my Instagram.
To the brightest person I know, do not let anyone dim your light. 힘내~!
“Ah. Ano palang nangyari kahapon sa Foundation Day?” Alice suddenly asked after taking a sip of beer. “Sabi ni Jess, hindi ka na raw nila nakita.” Her eyes narrowed and gave me a suspicious look. “You seem busy these days.”
I forced a laugh. “As if. I was just roaming around.”
“Kasi may ibang hinahanap?” she teased.
“How about you?” I retorted. “Ikaw hinahanap ba?”
“Hoy, Yna! Foul ‘yan ha! Napaka mo!”
Her reaction was too funny and I was glad her energy was coming back. Although she almost stabbed my hand with her fork.
I checked my notifications and Jess messaged me on Instagram.
HOY WHERE ARE YOU? MALAPIT NA AKO SA BAHAY NINA ALICE!
As if on cue, Jess called me so I told her to just come here.
“Hindi n’yo man lang ako hinintay!” she complained.
“Luh, ikaw ba may problema? Bida? Bida?” Alice retorted.
“Alam mo, pasalamat ka friend kita!”
“Eh ‘di thank you!”
Their banters made the atmosphere better and truthfully, I enjoyed listening to them. Steff and I are not funny so we like to listen to those two who are natural entertainers. Besides, it’s easier for me to learn Filipino context whenever they tease each other.
I was having a good time but I suddenly remembered what happened last night when I heard a familiar song.
♫ And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am ♫
He really looked like a prince yesterday. He belongs in the spotlight, just like the other Campus Princes.
“Grabe, most viewed ‘yong video nila,” Alice muttered.
It turned out Alice was playing the video of their performance last night and true enough, it already garnered half a million views.
“Why are you watching that?” I asked. “You’re supposed to be mad at him.”
“Alam ko, pero kasi . . . I kinda miss him,” she softly said.
“Heol. Soreum,” (Oh my god. Goosebumps,) I said as I hugged my own arms. “You really fell so hard.”
“Ugh, don’t say it. Pati ako nagc-cringe.”
“It’s kinda funny because we were cringing so hard when Steff and Jess admitted they were in love. Now, you’re in that stage, too.”
“Kapag talaga ikaw nagka-crush, ewan ko na lang kung ano ang magiging reaction namin,” she replied.
“What? Yna has a crush?!”
Jess arrived and she immediately sat down beside me with a surprised expression.
“Who?” she asked. “Totoong tao ba?”
“As far as I know, So Ji Sub and Lee Dong Wook are real people,” I replied.
Alice grunted and Jess rolled her eyes at me which made me snicker. I had kept my other personas from them for year. As if I’d reveal that kind of information. Besides, I don’t have a crush on someone right now . . . I think.
Alice told Jess about her problems, too, and she almost called Patrick since Kevin is his cousin. I remembered Gisel telling me that Patrick seemed worried about Kevin since he looked distraught during their practice.
We spent the night talking about everything and then we went to a karaoke hub. It was almost 10 P.M. when I went home. After I took a shower, I plopped on my bed and checked my social media accounts. I was browsing my Instagram feed when a follower notification popped up.
calvingisel started following you.
I had to sit down and rub my eyes to see if I was just seeing things but when I looked at my phone again, the notification was still there. I checked his profile to see if it was really him and verified it when I saw the people who were following the account.
It seemed like he followed our batch’s campus princes and princesses, as well as Alice and I, which gave me a wave of anxiety. I had an influx of followers, probably those who were following him, and I had to switch to private because it might spark some rumors.
moonlight: omg online si Calvin sa ig!
mugiwara: ay wow stalker
moonlight: hahaha hindi ah! Nagkataon lang!
cafemocha: once in a blue moon lang siya mag-online ‘di ba?
cafemocha: tapos he just followed a bunch of people hahaha
moonlight: for sure magkakaroon ‘to ng article
I got anxious after reading their conversation, especially when Moon mentioned about a probable article. The writer might mention the accounts he followed and they would surely question why a mere student like me was included.
I was contemplating whether to block or message him when King messaged me.
kingtrex: he followed you too
It was still hard to get used to the fact that we knew each other’s identity but at least, I have someone to talk to about it.
yeoshin: yeah :(
kingtrex: will that be okay?
yeoshin: Idk haha but he followed Alice too so I guess it’s alright
kingtrex: I see
yeoshin: but I’m worried about the probable articles
kingtrex: well if the two of us reject them, they can’t publish them
yeoshin: yeah but they may get suspicious
kingtrex: hmm you have a point
A few seconds later, Jess started bombarding our group chat to update Steff about what happened earlier, and Gisel’s action.
Jess: Grabe puro girls nagfa-follow sa akin ngayon dahil kay Gisel!
Steff: haha same
Alice: Bakit pati ako finollow niya?
Jess: Aba malay ko! Tanong mo siya hahaha
Steff: He followed Yna too
Yna: Yeah. Weird.
Jess: Baka kasi friends namin kayo
Alice: Luh eh di naman kami close
Jess: eh bakit si Kevin fina-follow mo pa rin, hindi naman na kayo close
Jess: nasend, ‘di ko nabura
Alice: SARAP MO RING TIRISIN EH
Alice: KAYA KA SIGURO MALIIT KASI MAS MALAPIT KA SA IMPYERNO
Alice: kampon ka talaga ng kadiliman
Jess: hahahahaha love you
Jess: kampi pa rin naman ako sa’yo
Alice: love you mo mukha mo
Steff: there they go again
Yna: I can’t understand but
I went back to Instagram and viewed his profile. He posted for the first time and it was a short clip of playing a piano with lyrics as a caption.
There she goes, there she goes again, racing through my brain.
The way he sang the song as he played the piano made me reminisce his performance last night. His voice made my heart flutter.
In the end, instead of blocking him, I decided to just follow him back and like his post . . . but that seemed like a bad choice because I received a message from him, along with his picture.
calvingisel: hey :) nasa akin pa pala ‘yung cap mo
I honestly thought it was just his voice that moved me but seeing that photo made my heart race so bad that I thought I’d get a heart attack. It took me several minutes to come to my senses.
This is why I hate feeling feelings. Because feelings create expectations. And expectations often lead to disappointment and heartbreak. And I don’t want to experience those things.