“Okay then, I’ll just ask one last question you uncooperative bitch – Do you love your new toy?”
When Aris asked me that question, my memories started to remind me what happened 7 years ago.
I closed my eyes and let my soul drown in nostalgia.
My Mom and Dad owns a marketing company in Quezon City, they are very successful entrepreneurs,
…madami ang nagsasabi na swerte ako at mayaman kami.
Little did they know, the success of my parent put a very heavy burden in my shoulders. Sobrang laki ng expectations ng mga tao sa akin.
But my parent’s expectations are the real killer. They want me to surpass them, they want me to succeed,
…to the point na sila na ang kumontrol ng buhay ko.
Dumating ang panahon na hindi ko na kaya, I can’t take the pressure, lagi na lang mahalaga ang sasabihin ng ibang tao, lagi na lang de-numero ang kilos ko, I can’t even go out to see my friends,
…I’m living in a cage and I wish to be free, gusto kong magdesisyon para sa sarili ko.
I decided to ran away from home.
Pansamantala muna akong tumira kila Alex, sa Meycauyan.
Alex is my comrade, my friend, my brother. Nagsimula ang friendship namin sa Ragnarok Online and we’re brother at arms sa guild wars.
When I got hired in VXI Muñoz, a call center company, ay nangupahan na ako sa isang apartment malapit sa workplace ko.
I still remember my very first friend in Muñoz, ang 11 years old na si Betchay. Lagi siyang naglalaro ng Barbie dolls sa veranda ko.
Naging kaibigan ko din ang mga kapitbahay ko, everyone of them was nice to me.
Finally, I’m starting to enjoy my life. My freedom.
I was very happy to be free, no one will dictate me, I can do what I want.
When it comes to my job, everything is going fine and dandy.
My job might be stressful but I have some good friends, one of them is Jacob.
Jacob, is a very good guy. He’s the glue that bonds us all, the guy who prefers fun and happiness in the workstation.
We became friends dahil magkatabi lang kami. I look up to him, he’s my role model at work until a certain event happened.
One rainy noon, out na kami sa work and I’m preparing to go home when Jacob approached me and invited me for lunch together with his wife and their 6 years old daughter.
I was reluctant but Jacob strongly urges me to join them, para naman daw hindi boring ang lunch. I don’t know why but I have a bad feeling about this.
Why be bored if you’re together with your wife and daughter?
1PM, dumating kami sa SM North EDSA, Jacob told me to go ahead and meet his wife in Shakeys, mag CR daw muna siya.
“How the fuck would I know who your wife is?”
Jacob laughed, parang nakakaloko ang pagtawa niya.
“Xander, kung sino yung makita mo dun na may kasamang cute na batang babae sya na yun.”
After saying that, he answered a phonecall.
“Oh! Cess babe don’t be mad, I’ll be there around 3PM.”
“Si Miel kasi gusto pang kumain sa labas pinagbigyan ko muna…eto at sasamahan muna sya ni Xander.”
Hanggang doon lang ang narinig ko dahil naglakad na si Jacob palayo sa akin.
Cess babe? Who the fuck is Cess? What the fuck is he trying to make me do?
It feels like I’m being used, being manipulated, ayaw ko ng ganitong pakiramdam,
…but I’ll let it pass, for now.
Nagpunta ako sa 2nd floor at agad na dumiretso sa Shakeys.
Pagpasok sa pizza restaurant ay lumingon-lingon ako sa paligid, trying to find a cute little girl and I suppose an equally cute mom.
I can’t see any cute little girls around but a beautiful lady wearing white Star Wars shirt got my attention.
I can’t stop myself from looking at her, I’ve seen a lot of pretty girls, I’m used to them, pero iba siya.
There is something in her that arouses my feelings, I want to know her, just her name is enough to make me happy.
Love at first sight?
No, I guess I’m just curious.
Lumapit ako sa magandang babae, when suddenly a cute little kid ran towards her saying:
“Mommy ang tagal ni Daddy!”
Fuck, I felt a terrible disappointment.
Dahil malapit na ako ay kinausap ko na din ang magandang babae:
“Excuse me, are you Jacob’s wife?”
The beautiful girl looked at me and smiled, my heart thumps like crazy when I saw her enigmatic smile.
This is the first time, the very first time that I felt a mixed emotions of excitement, fear, happiness and nervousness because of a girl.
“Yes, who are you?”
Her angelic voice started to make me tremble.
“F-Friend niya ako, I’m Xa-Xander.”
She laughed, gusto ko ng lumubog sa kinatatayuan ko sa sobrang hiya.
“Shasander? I’ll call you Xan, by the way I’m Remiel but you can call me Miel and that’s our little angel Haley. Nice to meet you.”
We shake hands, I’ll never forget my sweaty hands and how embarrassing it was.
“Have a seat, ikaw pala yung sinabi niya na kasama namin sa lunch.”
Naupo ako and we started to chat, getting to know each other. Miel is very accommodating, madali kaming nagkagaanan ng loob.
“Ha!? 19 ka lang Xan? Dapat pala Ate Miel ang itawag mo sakin dahil 29 na ako hehe!”
Hanggang sa mapunta ang usapan namin kung paano sila nagkakilala ni Jacob, tungkol sa love story nila.
“You know Xan, mahirap ang naging relasyon namin as BF/GF, we fought hard for our relationship. Kasi ang daming third party dati ni Jacob.”
“Until we got married and managed to secure our forever. A very good happy ending! I’m the happiest girl.”
“Kaya ikaw Xan, huwag maloko ha, mukhang madami kang ding paiiyakin na girls eh.”
She’s smiling, masayang masaya si Miel but its all a facade. Naawa ako sa kanya, it’s obvious that she’s only fooling herself.
Those sadness in her eyes are undeniably visible.
I feel that there’s something wrong between her and Jacob.
It might be weird but deep inside my heart, I wish that I can comfort her, I wish that I can protect her.
“Teka Xan, ano pala ang goals mo? Maging manager sa VXI or you have any other dreams in mind? Kasi si Jacob gustong maging manager.”
Without thinking, I suddenly blurted,
“Maging guardian angel.”
She laughed at me, nagulat ako sa nasabi ko pero mas nagulat ako sa biglang pagtapik ni Jacob sa likod ko.
“Guardian angel talaga Xander? At kanino naman?”
My heart kinda stopped from fear and embarrassment. Tumingin ako kay Miel, her melancholic eyes are gone,
…napalitan ng unexplainable joy and excitement ang kislap mga mata niya noong makita si Jacob.
She really love her husband.
In an instant, parang nawala ako sa radar ni Miel, all she cares about is Jacob, all she see is him, only him.
For unknown reason, jealousy started to bite me.