This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
This story is rated Mature as it may contain mature situations/languages/themes intended for an older youth audience. Reader discretion is advised.
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[A story from haveyouseenthisgirl.blog]
“All I did was to be nice to each and everyone of you, but what did I get in return? Nothing! Just pure f*cking betrayals and heartbreaks. The sweetest angel of the country? Mga ul*l! Walang anghel sa mundo! Lahat ng pinakita ko sa inyo, acting lang ‘yon! Mga uto-uto naman kayo!”
I paused to take another drink from the bottle of wine, without caring if the red liquid was dripping from the side of my mouth and ruining my white dress. I wiped my lips with the back of my hand as soon as I was done drinking and burped out loud.
I quickly scanned the comment section then continued to speak my mind. “You know what? My mom is a piece of sh*t who only thinks of me as her source of income. Well, tough luck for her! After this, she probably would need to make another baby ATM!”
I laughed maniacally after saying that as if it was the funniest joke I have come up with in my whole life.
“Oh! There’s more! Daniel? My boyfriend, who I thought really cared for me for the past years, guess what? He is just one big narcissistic cheating asshole! Ah! The best thing about this? He’s actually seeing my best friend Maddy behind my back! Maddilyn Rivera, that b*tch must be an ana-f*cking-conda in her previous life! It’s not just the two of them, but my whole backstabbing friends can go to hell!”
There were over a hundred thousand viewers while I was live on my official social media page and my phone felt hot as nonstop hate comments keep appearing.
“Oh? Hater ko na kayo ngayon? E ‘di I hate you too! I hate all of you! Pot —”
Napatigil ako sa pagbabaliktanaw ng mga pangyayari dalawang taon na ang nakakalipas nang may biglang humawak sa baywang ko mula sa likod at may bumulong sa gilid ng tainga ko.
“Hello baby, are you all on your own tonight? Wanna have some fun with me?” Agad akong napamulat ng aking mga mata at napatigil sa pagsasayaw upang harapin ang kung sinumang siraulo ang lumapit sa akin. Sa pagharap ko ay inalis ko kaagad ang mga kamay niyang nakahawak sa magkabilang gilid ng aking baywang.
“Hey!” Sigaw ko upang marinig niya sa kabila ng lakas ng tugtog galing sa malalaking speakers ng yacht. Itinaas ko ang kamay ko upang humarap sa mukha niya ang kanang palad ko habang ang isa kong kamay ay nakapameywang. “I’m not interested, piss off.”
“Woah! Okay then, chill!” He lifts his hands in surrender while laughing and shaking his head before walking away and finding another girl to bother in this yacht.
Nagpalit na ang tugtog at nawalan na ako ng gana sumayaw. I move away from the crowd of crazy people drunk dancing on the platform and head towards the bar.
“Man, hindi naaubos ang pila dito.” Reklamo ko as I watch the long line of people trying to buy their drinks with just three bartenders on the other side of the bar assisting all of us. Pinagmasdan ko na lang ang aking kapaligiran habang naghihintay sa pila.
Nasa ikalawang palapag ako ni Breeze, isang super yacht na umiikot ngayong malamig na gabi sa Brisbane River. Hindi ako dapat nandito. Kakarating ko lang kaninang umaga dito sa Australia dahil inimbitahan ako ng nakababatang half sister ko na si April na mag-stay dito for a month. Una, dahil ikakasal na siya next week. Pangalawa, gusto niyang hikayatin na dito na ako mamuhay ng permanente at tanggapin ko ang trabahong ino-offer niya bilang assistant ng digital agency nila ng fiancé niyang si Lachy.
Ang creative ng parents ko, ano? Ang pangalan ko ay July Isabedra dahil July 1 ako ipinanganak. Ang half sister ko naman ay April Hope ang pangalan dahil April ang birth month niya. At least si April may second name siya, pwede niya gamitin ‘yon kapag naumay siya sa first name niya. Samantalang ako I’m stuck with this stupid name.
I hate my name as much as I hate my birth month which is by the way happening tomorrow. Nothing good happens kasi every time July arrives. Just like what happened 2 years ago on my 25th birthday. I was betrayed lang naman by the people I loved and trusted the most. My mom, my ex Daniel, my ex-best friend Maddy and all my ex-friends — all of them took advantage of me. Ang mali ko lang siguro, the one thing I really, really regret the most, is drinking too much while holding my phone. I had no one that time and I felt really, really lonely and all the anger bottled up inside of me was looking for an outlet. So, I went live on my official page and without a care in the world, I said everything I wanted to say without any filter. That impulsive and careless action ruined my career.
When I was seven, I was chosen to be a model for a doll commercial and ever since then my career as a celebrity flourished. They branded me as the “sweetest angel of the country”. I had this image of being the perfect girl that everyone wants me to be. I had to wear the trendiest clothes that pass the Barbie standards, everything should be feminine. I wasn’t allowed to wear anything dark or dull. I wasn’t even allowed to be ugly, I must be pretty all the time. As their ‘angel’, I must never frown, I must never get angry, and I should always be smiling especially in front of the camera and fans.
My whole life is an act. I’m not an angel. I’m just a normal human being with so many flaws.
The day after my 25th birthday, nagising na lang ako na sobrang init ng phone ko at walang tigil na pagtunog nito. That’s when I realized that I was trending everywhere and a copy of my live video was being uploaded on various sites and forums. I was officially the most hated celebrity in the country. My title switched from “sweetest angel” to “two-faced b*tch” overnight.
My boyfriend Daniel, my best friend Maddy and all the other friends I mentioned in that video are all celebrities too. They all tried to deny my accusations with their superb acting skills which their fans supported. They all pushed me to the bad light with their lies. My mom? She got really mad and forced me to make a public apology.
I was really, really hurt, but everyone wanted me to apologize. No one apologized to me.
I apologized, deleted the video from my page, apologized again and begged on national tv, but it was all in vain. All my sponsors pulled out. I even paid a lot of fines for breaching numerous contracts. My current and pending movie and tv projects were terminated. No one wanted me after that. I’ve been jobless for the past two years kaya naman April has been convincing me to move here sa Australia.
Funny, right? Ako ‘yong sinaktan pero in the end, ako pa rin ang mali sa paningin nilang lahat.
“Hi, what can I get you?” I heard the bartender ask. Finally, it’s my turn.
“Hi! Original Sin, please.” I requested which the skilled bartender quickly did and handed me the glass once he’s done. I thanked him, took a quick sip before walking away from the bar and looking for a place where I can have a little bit of space to breathe.
I kind of regret being here at this yacht party. I should actually be with my sister now having dinner with her fiancé’s family. Kaso ang sabi ko sa kanya kaninang hapon na I’d rather rest muna dahil napagod ako sa eight-hour flight. I did sleep after lunch and woke up around six pm, she left a note naman for my dinner and that she’ll be back at ten. While watching the tv on her sofa, I noticed the brochures on the table and picked them up. They were probably brochures she took while planning their wedding. Doon ko nakita ang tungkol sa Breeze Yacht Party which is open to the public every weekend night. It was something I’ve never done before and I suddenly missed partying. The last party I had was my 25th birthday. I was also feeling really alone so on impulse, I decided to dress up for the very first time again after two years.
I was expecting to feel happy, get drunk and forget about everything at least for tonight once I get on board, but the only thing that happened is me feeling tipsy on my third glass of Original Sin in the 40 minutes of being here. Surrounded by so many strangers in the middle of a foreign river, mixed with the loud and upbeat music coming from the speakers and the bright lights decorating the yacht, it just . . . made me feel alone and sad more than ever.
“I wish I never left April’s apartment. Natulog na lang sana ako kesa lumabas,” pagbuntong-hininga ko habang naglalakad at naghahanap ng isang sulok na pwede kong tambayan.
“Excuse me.” Ilang beses kong paulit-ulit na sinasabi habang sinusubukan kong makalayo sa mataong parte ng yate.
“Excu — ah, sh*t!” Napasigaw ako nang biglang may isang lalaking hindi nakatingin sa dinadaanan niya ang nakabunggo sa akin dahilan upang ma-out of balance ako at mabunggo ko rin ang isa pang lalaki sa tabi ko at natapon ko sa kanyang damit ang inumin ko.
“Sorry!!! Are you okay?” tanong ng nakabunggo sa akin pero hindi ko na siya napansin pa nang mapatingin ako sa lalaking natapunan ko ng aking inumin.
We match heights but he’s probably a bit taller since I’m wearing heels, maybe around 6’1”. I noticed his well-toned body while staring at his drenched white polo shirt. Nang itaas ko ang paningin ko saka ko lang napansin ang mga gulat at nagtataka niyang mga mata habang nakatitig sa akin.
“You are . . . ” Ito ang mga unang salitang binigkas niya bago niya itinikom ulit ang kanyang bibig. Inangat niya ang kanyang kanang hintuturo at itinapat ito sa akin. Matapos ang ilang segundong pagtitig ay nagpatuloy ulit siya. “You can’t be that July Isabedra, right?”
Humigpit ang hawak ko sa aking baso na ngayon ay halos wala ng laman matapos kong matapon ito sa kanyang damit. Habang nakatingin pa rin sa kanya, hindi ako makaimik o makagalaw sa kinatatayuan ko. Pakiramdam ko ay pinagpapawisan ako kahit malamig naman ang simoy ng hangin. Parang humina rin ang kanina lang na maingay na paligid at mas naririnig ko na ang malakas na tibok ng puso ko. Tila nawala na rin ang ibang tao sa paligid ko at kaming dalawa na lang ng lalaking ito ang nasa yate. Nagrerebolusyon din ang aking tiyan na sanhi ng magkahalong emosyon, alak at kinain ko kanina sa lintik na eroplano na ‘yon.
After that scandal from 2 years ago, I’ve always feared being recognized by anyone, especially by any person from the entertainment industry. They always bring up the past and they never fail to make me feel like a piece of sh*t.
Halos hindi ako lumabas ng bahay sa matagal na panahon upang iwasan lahat ng tao sa mundo para sa ikakatahimik ng isipan at puso ko. I shut myself from the world in those two years and when I finally decided to step out of my room again and go to another country, heto ako ngayon sa harap ng isang kilalang bokalista ng bandang Runaway. At sa lahat naman talaga ng oras, pinili pa ng tiyan ko na ngayon pa isuka lahat ng laman nito habang nasa harap ko si Kevin Sy.
“Are you okay?” Pagtataka niya nang mapayuko ako at napatakip ng bibig imbis na sumagot sa nauna niyang tanong. Nang hindi ulit ako magsalita ay hinawakan niya ang kaliwang balikat ko at yumuko siya upang silipin ang mukha ko. Napaangat ako ng tingin at saglit na nagtama ang aming mga mata bago ako tuluyang nasuka.
Napatalon siya palayo sa akin katulad ng iba pang tao malapit sa akin na nakakita ng kalat na ginawa ko sa sahig ng yate. I can hear people cursing while throwing disgusted looks at me.
[A story from haveyouseenthisgirl.blog]
I want to run and hide from the humiliation, but how can I do that if I’m stuck in this stupid yacht for the next 20 minutes? Unless I choose to dive and swim the cold Brisbane river to escape this misery.
Napapikit na lang ako. Akala ko talaga mamatay na ako sa kahihiyan bago ko pa man maubos ang laman ng tiyan ko, ngunit nagulat na lang ako nang maramdam ko na may kumuha sa basong hawak ko at may humila ng buhok ko upang ilagay ito sa likod ko at pagkatapos ay hinagod ang likod ko na siyang nakatulong upang mabawasan ang discomfort na nararamdaman ko.
Nang sa wakas ay matapos na ako sa pagsuka, ang kamay sa likod ko ay nawala ngunit agad din itong lumipat sa harapan ko na may hawak na asul na panyo. Inangat ko ang tingin ko upang makita kung sino ang may-ari noon at bumungad muli sa akin ang mukha ni Kevin Sy na ngayon ay puno ng pag-aalala.
“Are you okay?” tanong niya. Inabot niya ang kamay ko upang ibigay ang panyo niya na siyang ipinunas ko naman sa aking bibig. “There’s a medical team downstairs, come with me so they can check on you.”
“I need to rinse my mouth first, and I need to get this mess cleaned up.” Nahihiya kong sabi habang saglit kong ibinaba ang tingin ko sa kalat na ginawa ko sa sahig.
“Don’t worry about this. I’ll get someone to clean this up, let’s go down first,” saad niya. Sa kabila ng pagtanggi ko ay nagpumilit siyang samahan ako hanggang sa pinto ng banyo at bago ako pumasok ng banyo ay nagpaalam siya sa akin na babalik din daw agad siya. Tatawag lang daw siya ng onboard utility para linisin ang kalat ko. Even before I could thank him ay tumakbo na agad siya paalis. Nagmumog ako at naghilamos na rin sa loob ng banyo. I completely wiped away all my makeup by doing that.
“Ang pangit mo talaga kahit kailan, July.” Nakasimangot kong kumento habang tinititigan ang aking sarili sa salamin. Itinapon ko ang mga gamit na tisyu sa basurahan at lumabas na ng banyo. Gaya ng sabi niya ay bumalik siya at inalalayan ako pababa upang matignan ng onboard medical team. Iinupo nila ako sa sofa sa isang sulok ng yate upang ma-check kung okay lang ako. Nang makumpirma nilang okay naman na ako, binigyan lang nila ako ng tubig at umalis na sila.
Umupo si Kevin sa tabi ko nang kami na lang dalawa ang naiwan sa isang sulok ng yate. Mas tahimik sa ibabang palapag ng yate dahil nasa taas ang DJ at dance platform kaya naman mas kaonti ang tao sa pwesto namin.
Nakaharap ang sofa na kinauupuan namin sa may railings kaya naman malaya kong napapagmasdan ang mga nadadaanang maiilaw na gusali habang binabaybay ng yate ang kahabaan ng ilog.
“I’m sorry,” pagputol ko sa katahimikan sa pagitan naming dalawa. Iniangat ko ang panyo niya at ngumiwi. “Bayaran ko na lang ‘to, ha?”
Tumawa naman siya at napailing. “No need, you can have it.”
“Are you sure? I mean, I’m really sorry pati na rin sa shirt mo.” Napansin kong bukod sa alak na natapon ko sa damit niya, nasukahan ko rin ata ito ng kaonti na mukhang napunasan niya na ng tubig kanina nang magtungo siya sa banyo.
“Okay lang ‘yon! There’s really no need to apologize. Ikaw ba? Okay ka na ba talaga?” tanong niya.
“Yeah. Salamat ha at sorry talaga.” Tugon ko sabay yuko at tinitigan ang baso at panyong hawak ko.
“You’re welcome and again, please don’t apologize. By the way, are you here on your own?” Tumango lang ako bilang sagot. “Well, I guess I can accompany you for the remaining 20 minutes before we get back on land. That is if you don’t mind.”
“I mind,” nasambit ko na lang bigla nang hindi nag-iisip. Agad ko rin binawi ito nang ma-realize ko ang nasabi ko. “I mean aren’t you disgusted or mad? Tinapunan ko shirt mo, sumuka pa ako sa harap mo. Ang laking abala na agad ng ginawa ko sa ‘yo tapos sasamahan mo pa ako for the remaining time na iikot ang yate when you can just go back up and have fun with your friends. I feel like I just totally ruined your night.”
“No! Don’t say that. Hindi mo naman intensyon gawin ang mga iyon at isa pa, I’m also here on my own. Pagod na rin naman ako makigulo sa taas, I’d rather chill here and enjoy the night breeze.”
Ibinaling kong muli ang tingin ko sa kanya matapos niyang sabihin iyon at napansin kong nakatitig siya sa agos ng tubig habang ang buhok nya ay nililipad patalikod ng hangin dahilan upang mas mapagmasdan ko ang tangos ng kanyang ilong at mapansin ang itim at hugis bituin na hikaw sa kanyang kaliwang tainga. Nagulat na lang ako nang bigla niyang inilipat ang tingin sa akin at nagtamang muli ang aming mga mata. Ngumiti siya sa akin at nagtanong, “Of all the people to meet here in Brisbane I never thought I’d stumble upon you, July Isabedra. So, kumusta ka?”
I only met Kevin Sy once. It was around five years ago when we were supposed to work together on Voiceless, a music-related movie project. Isa siya sa ka-love triangle ko dapat sa movie na ‘yon. We only interacted for a short time when the producers and director gathered the main actors to discuss the project. A few days later, I heard he withdrew from the project and I really couldn’t recall the reason. That was it and our paths never crossed again until today happened.
Two years ago, I swore to myself that I will have nothing to do with anyone or anything in the entertainment industry anymore to save the very small piece of sanity I have left. But for some reason, as I sit next to Kevin Sy who’s smiling warmly at me, I feel like he’s going to be different from the rest of them.
Maybe, maybe not, but whatever. There’s probably no harm in spending the next 20 minutes with him on this yacht.
After this, we can part ways again and forget about everything.
[A story from haveyouseenthisgirl.blog]