Alam n'yo ba ang feeling na parang ang tagal n'yo nang magkakilala kahit na ilang beses pa lang kayong nagkikita? Ewan ko kung bakit pero ganoon ang nararamdaman ko ngayon.
The silence wasn’t uncomfortable but I could feel the tension in the air. I glanced at his direction and I saw him reading the journal. Naalala ko naman ang nabasa kong entry dati.
Sana maayos pa natin ‘to. Sana, tayo pa rin hanggang sa huli. Pero hindi ko alam kung dapat pa ba akong umasa. Sabihin mo nga? Kailangan ko na bang magmove on? O may chance pa para magkabalikan tayo?
Napaisip tuloy ako kung ano ang nangyari sa kanila ni Kris Leila. I know that I don’t have any business with them but I was curious. After our first meeting, even though I didn’t want to admit it at first, Andrew has always been in my mind. I don’t know if it was because of that, that I keep seeing him or maybe fate is really playing a game with me.
Bigla naman siyang lumingon at hindi ko agad naiwas ang tingin ko. Our eyes met each other and my heart thumped nervously.
“May I also ask you a question?” he asked.
“W-what is it?”
“Bakit hindi kita nakikita dati rito?”
His question felt like a spear piercing through my heart. I averted his gaze and looked at Kyle’s grave.
“I was afraid,” I mumbled. “Natakot akong harapin ang katotohanan kaya umalis ako. Ilang taon pa ang lumipas bago ako nagkaroon ng lakas ng loob para bumalik.”
“I see. I guess he’s happy that you’re finally here,” sabi naman niya at saka siya ngumiti.
“No. Maybe he’s sad or mad. It took me five years to finally face him.”
“But at least, you have the courage to face your fear. To step forward.”
Natahimik naman ako pagkatapos niyang sabihin ‘yon. I was actually moved by his words because I know that he understands me more than anyone. After all, we experienced the same tragedy, the same pain. Siguro kaya malapit din ang loob ko sa kanya ay dahil pareho kami.
Nanatili pa ako ro’n ng ilang minuto at nang tinignan ko ay oras ay tumayo na ako. Napatingin naman siya sa akin.
“Aalis ka na?” tanong niya at bigla namang kumabog ang dibdib ko.
“Mm,” sabay tango ko.
“Ingat,” he said with a concerned smile.
Ngumiti rin ako at pagkatapos no’n ay naglakad na ako palayo pero nakakailang hakbang pa lang ay tumigil din ako. I turned around and I wasn’t expecting him looking at me . . . but he was.
“Hey uhm, Andrew,” I called and saying his name felt weird. “I’ll return your handkerchief another time. Thank you for lending it again and sorry for using it twice.”
He smiled after I said those words and I felt something different . . . something that seemed like I have forgotten through the years.
“Sab,” I said. “You can call me Sab.”
My heart suddenly skipped a bit and in that moment, I knew something was already different.
Nandito na ako ngayon sa condo at nakatulala lang ako sa view mula sa kwarto ko. The city lights below were beautiful but my mind can’t appreciate it right now.
Hindi ko alam kung tama ba ang desisyon ko na bumalik dito dahil gumulo lang ang isip ko. I just wanted to visit Kyle and tell him what I did for the last five years. I didn’t expect to meet someone who could make me feel so confused.
Nangako ako kay Kyle na siya lang ang lalaking mamahalin ko habambuhay. Alam ko sa sarili ko na kaya kong gawin ‘yon dahil mahal ko siya at malaking parte siya ng buhay ko. He was my friend, my lover and my savior. I can’t afford to be interested with someone when he died to save me . . . to protect me.
Suddenly, I saw Kyle’s reflection on the window and I turned around.
“Kyle?” I breathed and I saw him standing there, looking at me. He was smiling but his eyes looked sad.
“It’s been a while, Sab,” he said and my tears fell immediately.
God, I missed his voice. Looking at him made me realize that I almost forgot the features of his face and his voice. I wanted to run to him, to hug and kiss him but I can’t move my body.
“Kyle,” I sobbed and he approached me. He stood in front of me and when he hugged me, I cried like a little kid. The pain and misery that I had kept inside me for years easily resurfaced in seconds.
“Hindi ba sabi ko sa’yo, ayaw kitang nakikitang umiiyak?” bulong niya at lalong humigpit ang yakap niya sa akin. “Alam kong maling maramdaman ‘to pero masaya ako dahil kahit papaano, iniiyakan mo ako.”
We stayed like that for several minutes and it was comfortable and painful at the same time. Alam kong iniisip ko lang ‘to o baka parte lang ng panaginip ko pero pakiramdam ko totoo. Pakiramdam ko, kasama ko talaga si Kyle.
“Kyle, I missed you. I missed you so much.”
“Alam ko,” bulong niya at lalo lang akong naiyak, “pero Sab, dahil sa akin, lalo ka lang nasasaktan. I’m sorry.”
“I don’t care and it’s okay with me.”
“But for me, it’s not,” sabi naman niya at hinarap niya ako. I looked like a mess but he smiled when he saw my face. “Alam kong sinabi ko dati na sana ako lang ang lalaking mamahalin mo. I was scared and selfish that time because I knew I won’t be a part of your life anymore. I made you promise out of greed and I hurt you because of that.”
“No, Kyle, you didn’t. It was my choice.”
“Sab, ayaw kong nakikita kang ganito. Gusto kitang maging masaya.”
Lumapit siya sa akin at hinalikan niya ako sa noo kaya lalong nadurog ang puso ko. When our eyes met, he smiled at me.
“I love you, Sab, but you should let me go. Live and love again,” he said and he started walking away from me. I called his name but he kept on walking. I wanted to follow him but my body betrayed me. I yelled his name over and over again, wishing that he’d come back and when I was about to lose hope, my eyes fluttered.
Paggising ko ay basa ang pisngi at unan ko. Nakatulala lang ako sa kisame habang hinahabol ang hininga ko. It was just a dream but it felt real.
Ilang minuto akong nakatulala lang at kinalma ko muna ang sarili ko. Makalipas ang halos kalahating oras, bumangon ako at agad na dumiretso sa banyo para maghilamos dahil naalala kong makikipagkita pala ako kina Rissa ngayon. Naghanda naman ako at pagkatapos ay tinext ko sila. Lumabas ako sa condo at dumiretso sa restaurant malapit sa university ni Chelle. Pagdating ko ro’n ay nakita ko sina Nigel at Miley kaya naman agad akong naglakad papunta sa kanila.
“Sab!” tawag ni Nigel at tumingin din si Miley.
“Anong nangyari sa mata mo?” she asked.
Agad ko namang sinabi sa kanila ang panaginip ko at hindi ko napigilan ang pagtulo ng luha ko. Tandang-tanda ko pa ang mga sinabi ni Kyle na para bang totoo talagang nangyari lahat ng ‘yon.
“Basically, he wants you to move on,” Miley said and my heart sank deeper.
“It’s been five years, Sab,” Nigel chimed in. “Panahon na para patawarin mo ang sarili mo. Alam naman naming hanggang ngayon ay sinisisi mo pa rin ang sarili mo sa pagkamatay niya.”
Napatingin naman ako sa kanila at lalo lang akong naiyak dahil sa sinabi niya. Oo, sinisisi ko pa rin ang sarili ko hanggang ngayon dahil sa nangyari. Kahit sabihin nilang hindi ko kasalanan ay iba pa rin ang pakiramdam, lalo na’t ako ang huli niyang nakasama. I was there and I saw everything with my own eyes.
Dumating naman sina Chelle at Rissa kaya binago ko kaagad ang topic. Luckily, it shifted to Chelle’s love life and Nigel’s girlfriend.
After lunch, we went on our separate ways and I decided to go to Kyle. Pagdating ko ro’n ay agad akong umupo sa harapan ng puntod ni Kyle.
“Was that really you?” mahina kong tanong. “Do you really want me to do that?”
I stayed there for about an hour and somehow, it cleared my mind. Kyle was just that kind of person. He would put me or his loved ones first before himself, just like what he did five years ago.
Nagpaalam ako kay Kyle at kaagad na umalis do’n. Sumakay agad ako sa taxi dahil dumidilim na. Nang malapit na kami sa condo ay bigla ko namang sinabi sa driver na idiretso ako sa malapit na bar dito. Nagbayad ako sa driver at tumayo lang ako sa harapan ng bar. Hindi ko rin alam kung anong pumasok sa isip ko at naisipan kong gawin ‘to. Pagtingin ko sa oras, 7:30 PM na at dahil ayoko namang mag-stay rito sa labas ay pumasok na ako.
Sorry, Kyle. I want to drown my thoughts in liquor tonight. Maybe this would be an easier way to forget you.