Chapter 4

[A story from haveyouseenthisgirl.blog]

“Hey Sai, let me know if I can do anything for you. I’m really sorry for earlier.” Brian said while driving me home. 

I looked out the window and watched absently as we passed by each house. “Bakit ka nagso-sorry? Wala ka naman ginawang masama.”

“Well, I feel guilty for not telling you about Melody.”

“Hindi ka naman obligado magkwento o magpaliwang sa akin ng kahit anong tungkol kay Cedric so please, ‘wag kang ma-guilty.”

“Okay, but if you want to know anything else, please let me know. I’m always on your side.”

Bigla akong na-curious nang sabihin niya iyon at nagtanong ako ng tungkol kay Melody.

“Melody ang pangalan niya, tama ba?”

“Yes.”

“Kelan pa naging sila?”

“Actually,” nag-pause siya saglit, “isang taon na silang engaged.”

Napaayos ako ng upo at napatingin sa direksyon niya. “Isang taon na? Engaged? Ha?”

Ibig sabihin niyon na noong nakipag-break siya sa akin ay sila na ni Melody? Ngayon alam ko na kung bakit niya ako iniwan. He cheated on me and it made me so angry.

“Yes, pero ang alam ko parang in-arrange ‘yon ng parents nila. Siguro alam mo na ‘to: ang parents ni Cedric ay may-ari ng isang malaking real estate firm at ang parents naman ni Melody ay may-ari ng isang building construction business. So ayun, gusto ng mga parents nila na sila magkatuluyan para mas maging maganda ang relasyon ng mga business nila as partners even sa future.”

“Arranged marriage?” As enraged as I was, I also felt really confused and surprised hearing it.

“Kagulat ‘no? Parang mapapaisip ka na uso pa pala ‘yon, may ganoon pa pala sa panahon ngayon? Akala mo sa TV lang nangyayari but I guess super rich people live a different kind of life that we probably wouldn’t really understand.”

“Would you know if Cedric is in favor of this arranged marriage?”

Brian shook his head. “I’m sorry, Sai. As much as I want to let you know, I just really have no idea. I just met Cedric after it happened and I didn’t even know about you before then. What I told you earlier is as much as I could tell you now. Cedric doesn’t talk much about his feelings for Melody nor did he even mention you before.” 

I looked out the window again and felt really confused. When I got home, I lay on the bed and thought about what I just discovered.

He left me because his parents arranged a marriage with Melody and he had no choice.

Or he left me because his parents arranged a marriage with Melody and he fell for her?

“Bakit parang bawat araw mas lalong gumugulo ang mga bagay bagay sa buhay ko?” I sighed and looked at my phone. I dialed his number that I’ve long deleted in my contacts but not in my memory. 

Is this still his number? Tawagan ko ba siya? Pero paano kung hindi niya sagutin? O paano kung sagutin niya? 

Ah, bahala na. Gusto ko lang marinig ang katotohanan mula sa kanya. Gusto ko marinig ang explanation niya which he still owes me when we broke up. Maybe knowing it will help me finally move on. Maybe it’s the closure I need. Maybe.

My hand was shaking as I tried to click the call button. I panicked when I heard the first ring. I was tempted to end the call immediately, but before I could do that, I heard his voice.

“Hello, Sai?”

Ang lakas ng tibok ng puso ko pagkarinig ko ng boses niya. I tried to speak pero ayaw gumalaw ng dila ko, my whole system was panicking.

“Hello? Are you there?”

I pushed myself to say something. “H-hello . . . ”

There was a short pause on his end, I heard him clear his throat before he spoke again. “Why did you call?”

I mustered up all the courage that I have and said, “Can we meet?”

[A story from haveyouseenthisgirl.blog]

Masisira na ata ang kuko ko kakatapik sa table habang kagat kagat ko ang straw ng frappe ko. Napaaga ako ng dating sa meeting place namin ni Cedric. Sabi ko sa kaniya kagabi na i-meet ako sa coffee shop na malapit sa amin at pumayag naman siya. Pagkatapos niyon, in-end ko na agad ang tawag. 

After a year of our break up, ito na ulit ang unang pagkakataon na makikita at makakausap ko siya ng kami lang. Sumasakit ang tiyan ko sa sobrang anxiety na nararamdaman ko. Ilang beses ko ng inisip na umalis na lang. Punong-puno na ng negative thoughts ang utak ko at hindi ko na napigilan iuntog ang ulo ko sa lamesa para lang makalma ang sarili ko.

“Sai . . . ? Are you okay?”

Napatigil ako sa pag-untog ng ulo ko at dahan-dahan kong ini-angat ang tingin ko sa taong nagsalita. Bumungad sa akin ang nagtatakang mukha ni Cedric. Parang gusto ko na lang biglang maglaho sa hiya. 

“Y-yeah.” Iyon na lang ang nasabi ko at umiwas ng tingin. Umupo na rin naman siya sa tapat ko. 

“You could order first if you like before we talk.”

“No, I’m good. I just wanted to know what you wanted to talk about.”

With his straightforwardness, I felt like he was just in a hurry to go and not deal with me. 

“Okay. Gusto ko lang naman malaman bakit ka talaga nakipag-break sa akin.”

He wasn’t able to speak for about a minute and just stared at me. I couldn’t handle his stare anymore so I spoke again. “So? I think I deserve to hear a reason. You just broke up with me before without letting me know why and it’s unfair to me even now. Isang taon kong tinatanong ang sarili ko kung bakit? Kung may kulang ba sa akin? Kung may mali ba akong ginawa? Hindi mo alam kung gaano kasakit maiwan ng taong mahal mo ng hindi man lang alam kung anong naging dahilan. Sana man lang hindi mo na ito ipagkait sa akin, isang taon na rin naman ang nakalipas. Kahit ‘yon na lang ‘o, Cedric.”

Nagbuntong-hininga siya at tumingin sa bintana. “I’m already engaged with the girl you saw last night.”

“Just what Brian said.” It might’ve been my imagination but I thought he flinched when I mentioned Brian’s name. “Engaged na ba kayo kahit bago pa man tayo mag-break?”

He nodded. I felt a wave of pain. I swallowed it all and asked again, “I heard it was an arranged marriage by your parents.”

He nodded again without even looking at me.

“Did you . . . break up with me because your parents forced you with her or . . . ” Hindi ko siya agad matanong ng diretso at huminga muna ako ng malalim, “. . . did you break up with me because you fell in love with her?” 

Tumingin siya pabalik sa akin nang matapos ko ang aking tanong. Ang lalim ng mga tingin niya sa aking mga mata na halos pakiramdam ko ay malulusaw ako. 

“Would it matter knowing which is which? I’m already engaged, Sai. I’m really sorry for what happened before and for hurting you. I am truly sorry, but I am already with someone else. I really wish you to be happy and be able to meet someone who deserves you better.”

He paused but quickly added, “Brian is a nice guy. I knew him for quite some time and I know he can take care of you better. He seems to be fond of you and you guys seem to be going along well. Forget about me, go for Brian. I trust he will give you the love you deserve.” He stood up. “I’m sorry, Sai. I need to go. It was nice talking to you again.”

Tumalikod na siya at maglalakad na sana paalis but he stopped as soon as I asked him my next question. “Bakit ka pumayag makipagkita sa akin ngayon? Were you expecting something or you just went to meet me and tell me I deserve someone else?”

Tumango lang siya at tuluyan ng naglakad palayo. Naiwan ako mag-isa sa kinauupuan ko habang nagre-replay ng paulit-ulit sa isipan ko ang mga sinabi niya

‘Forget about me, go for Brian. I trust he will give you the love you deserve.’

I finally heard it from him. He might not have answered my question directly, but from what he just said, it’s clear to me that he doesn’t feel anything at all for me anymore. He is pushing me to someone else. He doesn’t care. I am nothing to him anymore. 

Is this the closure I was looking for?

I took a sip of my now almost finished frappe and checked my phone. I saw a message from Brian. I opened it and read his message.

“Hey Sai, I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed our time together yesterday and hoping we could hang out again. Let me know if you’re up! Marami pa akong lugar na mare-recommend sa ’yo or if may ire-recommend ka sa akin, g lang! Masaya talaga akong kasama ka.”

Tinitigan ko lang ang screen ng cellphone ko at ni-replay ulit ang mga huling sinabi ni Cedric.

“Fine. If that’s what you want, I’ll totally forget all about you, you *sshole. I will finally let myself be happy with someone else. Sabi mo nga, I deserve someone better.” 

Nag-reply ako kay Brian: “Thank you, Brian. I really enjoyed yesterday and the other night. Let me know lang kung kailan mo gusto mag-hang out ulit, g lang ako anytime.” 

I only see Brian as a friend now, but if it helps me move on, maybe spending more time with him will help me see him in a new light? I’ve been selfless for the past year, maybe it’s time for me to be selfish. Sorry, Brian. I will really try my best to make this work.

Lie About Love

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