The Bad Girl: Chapter 11-14 – Decision by Crystalite

“Yang, stop it!” Chrisie chided, placing her fork down and took Reina’s pack of Capri away from her. “That’s the third pack you’ve opened in the last couple of hours.”

“Yan, give it back! I badly need a smoke,” Reina said as she reached across the table. She was pouting and whining like a child whose toy was taken away. They were at Psychedelic Corner, a coffee, pastries, and cocktails bar rolled into one.

Chrissie studied her friend slump back into her seat and sighed loudly, as she lit her Virginia Slims. “Don’t bother hiding from me, Reina. I know you too well,” she warned, raising an eyebrow.

Reina, without her Capri to disguise her unease, had no choice but to meet her friend’s gaze.

“You’ve been agitated since I picked you up yesterday at the Admin not to mention the state you were in, plus the fact that I needed to bring you some clothes,” Chrissie paused, taking another puff off her cigarette. “Only one person managed to fluster you, Rain. SHERWIN,” she concluded.

Reina looked down and nodded. She picked her fork up and started to play with her tiramisu, hoping that Chrissie would not question any further.

“Yang, I’m waiting…” Chrissie prodded.

“It’s stupid to fall in love with a guy just because you ended up having sex, right?” Reina spoke softly, still playing with her cake. She then raised her eyes and met Chrissie’s, asking for affirmation, “I can’t possibly be in love with him, right?”

Flicking her cigarette, Chrissie replied, “You’re right. I don’t think that you’re falling in love with him yet, but you’re sooo scared that what you feel right now might just lead there.” Chrissie pointed out and sipped off her vodka cruiser.

“He gave me an ultimatum,” Reina started. “He gave me until last night to sort things out. He’s offering me more than just sex…” she trailed off.

Chrissie killed her cigarette, leaned forward on the table, and looked Reina straight in the eye, “Yang, do you want to be with him or not? Is it just sex that you want?”

“You’ve tried sex already. Is it enough for you to get that state of euphoria? Or do you want something more?” she leaned back on her seat and crossed her arms, still not breaking her eye contact.

“Yang,” she stood up and sat beside her friend, “Just because I engage in casual sex, that doesn’t mean also you have to.”

“I want you to be honest with yourself. I know that you’re not in love with Sherwin Xu yet, but deep down you know that it just might happen,” Chrissie took her friend in her arms and hugged her.

“Bottom line is: it’s your decision,” she continued and started to feel her shoulder getting wet.

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Sherwin was drinking brandy in the living room. It was his second bottle for tonight. He’s still devastated over the fact that Reina did not come last night.

He finished what was left in the bottle and started to cry. He could vividly remember what happened last weekend….

He could not believe his eyes! There she was, standing like a goddess, so beautiful and so damn sexy!

They were riveted on the spot.

Sherwin, admiring Reina’s body, and Reina, inspecting Sherwin up and down…

They kissed with a fervent passion that left them breathless…

He kissed her neck, which elicited a moan from her, all the while untying the string of her top…

Her hands felt hot on his skin…

“Oh, God! Her mouth is so hot,” he thought as he groaned…

She then started to slowly bob up and down…

He kissed her heat and licked her love button… A wave of pleasure overcame her and soon, her love nectar was gushing out…

His other hand was working its way to her center… his finger easily slid inside…

He smiled and started to move, slowly…She wrapped her legs around him and moved with him…

Moans and groans filled the room….

“Aaahhh!!!” Sherwin bellowed and threw the bottle across the room. He ran to the bathroom to wash his face.

“What’s wrong with me??” he asked himself in the mirror.

“I love her, right?” he asked again. “Damn it! Answer me!” he shouted at his reflection.

When it did not answer, he punched the mirror and walked out.

“I need to get out of here!” he thought, his body swaying as he headed to the front door.

“Fuck!” he cursed as he stepped out the house and sat on one of the benches. He did not notice someone behind the bushes watching him intently.

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“I can do this!” Reina repeated to herself. She let out a loud sigh and walked to Sherwin’s house.

She was near Sherwin’s bungalow when she saw him go out of the house. She was about to go to him when she noticed his drunken state. So she hid behind the bushes to try to gather more courage.

Her eyes instantly filled with tears and with each minute that passed by, her courage deserted her. Finally, she decided not to go to him. She would wait until he is sober so they could talk peacefully.

She walked back to where her car was parked, mentally chiding herself from not showing up last night and for cowering again tonight.

“Tomorrow. Yes, there’s still tomorrow,” she convinced herself. “Tomorrow for sure,” she promised and drove away.

Reina parked a couple of houses away from Sherwin’s gate on Sunday evening. She finished what was left of her cigarette and said, “Here goes nothing…”
She got out of the car, flicked her cigarette, and stepped on it.

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Sherwin awakened at the pounding sounds at the door. He reached for his glasses and put them on. His eyes adjusted to the darkness and checked his watch. “Eight o’clock,” he mumbled.

“Damn! I slept here again,” he silently cursed as he turned the lights on and surveyed the totally cluttered living room. Bottles of brandy and beer cans were scattered all over the place. The smell of tobacco hung in the air.

“So much for having quitted smoking,” he thought ruefully.

The knocking persisted, snapping him out of his introspection.

“Reina!” he thought and ran to the door. His heart beating loudly at the thought and beads of sweat formed on his forehead, not to mention his hands feeling clammy.

He tried to fix the place before rushing to the door, trying to make it as presentable as it was the last time Reina was there. But after several futile tries of cleaning up, the knocking grew louder and heavier, almost breaking down the door.

Sherwin gave up and thought, “What the hell…” leaving the clutter and quickly opening the door.

Extremely agitated, the person on the other side of the door brushed past Sherwin and said, “Man, what took you so long?”

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“Holy shit!” was all Reina could say as she tried to hide herself near someone else’s gate.

She was already two houses away from Sherwin’s bungalow when a car passed by her and stopped at his house. The person got out of the car and walked purposely to the Sherwin’s place.

Reina had no choice but to go back to where her car was, continually cursing herself, “Damn! I should have gone to him last night! The other night!”

She regretfully went inside her car, feeling so defeated.

“Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” she kept saying as she banged her head on the steering wheel several times.

“Tomorrow. Tomorrow, for sure,” she sighed and turned on the ignition.

“I’ll make it up to you, Sherwin. Somehow, I will,” she promised and sped away from Sherwin.

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“Oh… You,” Sherwin was dismayed to see who it was.

“Good evening to you, too!” replied Matthew sarcastically and walked carefully, trying not to step on the bottles and cans.

“Damn! I’ve only been gone a week and this place got trashed?!” he looked at his cousin incredulously.

“You look like hell, man!” he said again after examining his cousin’s wasted appearance. “Failed an exam?”

“Nothing… I just wanted to have some down time,” Sherwin said, avoiding his gaze.

“Down time? Smoking again is your idea of some down time?!” A disbelieving Matthew asked. “C’mon man, it couldn’t be that bad,” he coaxed.

“It’s nothing. Just don’t mind me,” Sherwin almost shouted.

Matt’s eyes suddenly lit up. “Oh I get it! It’s Florence Yoro. You heard she’s getting married.”

Florence Yoro was one of Sherwin’s ex-girlfriends but she’s the first woman he fell in love with. She was gorgeous beyond words. She had a charming smile that captivated every man’s heart and a very sunny disposition that would make it difficult for anyone to hate her. But behind that beautiful facade is an ugly truth: Florence was gold digger. She loves men who can spend for her and her vanity.

Sherwin was already in his third year in university when he noticed the beauty. He courted her and eventually, they ended up together. His friends tried to warn him about her but he still dismissed the idea and gave her the benefit of the doubt. Days passed and sadly, Sherwin faced the painful truth. She did not love him, only his money. He was greatly devastated that he had to leave Taiwan and continue his study somewhere else. He needed to forget her. He needed to heal from the wounds she had inflicted upon him and his heart. Since Sherwin’s mother is one of the members of ABAC’s Board of Trustees, he decided to transfer to Thailand.

“Forget her, buddy. We all know what she is…a slut,” Matt went to the fridge to get some water. “I’d bet my life she married for money. The guy’s old enough to be her dad but damn, he’s got a lot of dough.”

“Poor Mr. Chang!” Matt shook his head. “He doesn’t know he’s being used.”

“That’s it!” Sherwin bellowed. “Why do I always get attracted to women who just want to use me?!”

Matt sighed as he walked over to Sherwin and put his arm around his shoulders. “It’s like this. Women choose their prey as men choose their victims. So don’t let them get the upper hand, my boy. Use them first before they use you, get it?”

“Man, you should have learned from Florence,” with that, Matt took his arm off Sherwin’s shoulder, and punched him lightly on the chest.

“C’mon! Don’t just stand there! Help me fix this place up and turn it into the love shack that it is.” Matthew bent down to pick up some of the bottles on his way.

“Matthew, you never do housework!” Sherwin eyed his cousin suspiciously.

“Come on, man! I got to turn this place into the “bing-bing” room. I still have some unfinished business to deal with…” Matt replied, wriggling his eyebrows.

“I can’t believe you!” cried Sherwin. “Already got a new victim? Man, you’re fast!”

Matt smiled sheepishly. “She’s not what you could call, a “new” victim…more like disrupted intentions…”

“Who’s she?” Sherwin asked, shaking his head.

“Reina Yang,” Matt replied proudly.

Sherwin felt a pang of jealousy at Matt’s announcement.

“So, tell me. How good is this Reina Yang?” Matt asked eagerly.

Sherwin stared at his cousin blankly.

“Come on, Sherwin! I made you take some quads and nothing happened? Are you turning impotent or something?” Matt urged.

At his words, Sherwin’s eyes narrowed and his fist connected with Matt’s jaw. Matthew stumbled, forgetting the bottles on his hands.

“Fuck! What the hell was that for?!” Matt wiped the blood that trickled from his mouth.

“For drugging me…” Sherwin went to Matt and offered his hand.

Matt took his hand but Sherwin did not anticipate that Matt would retaliate.

“Hey! I was just trying to do you a favor…” Matt said fixing his shirt as Sherwin staggered backwards.

Sherwin stood up and ran towards Matt saying. “You’ve done enough by leaving me here with her!”

Sherwin tried to hit Matt with a right hook but Matt sidestepped on time, leaving Sherwin to hit nothing but air. Instead, he was the one who received an uppercut from Matt. He fell back on the floor and made no move to stand up. Panting, he sat up and ran his hands on his hair.

Matt was huffing as he sat himself beside Sherwin and asked, “What came over you, man?”

He looked at his cousin and grinned as realization dawned on him.

“You had Reina Yang…” he said teasingly.

Sherwin struggled to get up. He was still itching to kill Matt.

Matthew stopped him and said, “Whoa! Hold your horses, man. No need to get excited!”

“And besides, it would be useless to fight…you still had too much alcohol,” he added.

“So, spill!” Matthew urged his cousin, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

Sherwin did not say anything.

“Aww, man! You’re no fun!” Matt said grudgingly, almost pouting like a little boy.

“You’re not talking, huh?” Matt finally gave up. “But you wouldn’t mind sharing her, would you?”

Sherwin thought, “Why am I protecting her? Isn’t this what she wanted? To be called the Bitch?”

He looked at his cousin and said bitterly, “Go ahead! But let’s just say, you missed an opportunity, buddy.”

Matt shrugged his shoulders and replied, “It’s no big deal… I could always ask her out again.”

“Yeah, you could,” Sherwin said. “But she wouldn’t be a virgin anymore,” he grinned meaningfully.

“Get out of here!” Matthew playfully punched Sherwin on the arm.

“Yeah, I was her first,” Sherwin said smugly.

“Woohoo! You’re the Man!” Matt shouted at the top of his lungs. “This calls for a celebration!”

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Tomorrow was a school day but the Red Lagoon Party Central was swarmed by students from all over Bangkok.

At the bar, two gorgeous men were trying to outdo each other in drinking. Anyone could see that both men were exceedingly drunk.

“Alright! Hey! Why dontcha jam with the band?” slurred an extremely drunk Matthew.

Taking another shot of vodka, a drunken Sherwin waved off his cousin and said, “No way, man! I don’t think I can sing in this state!” Sherwin had this stupid smile on his face

“Sherwin, you gotta loosen up a bit, man! You’re too perfect,” those were Matt’s last words as he headed for the stage knocking a few people as he passed.

Matt grabbed the microphone and yelled, “Attention please! Let’s rock this party!”

The crowd cheered.

Matt gave them a perfectly idiotic smile, a sure sign that he was dead drunk, and said, “Great! This song is for my cousin! *hic* Everybody! Give a round *hic* of applause to my cousin! *hic* Lights *hic* to that guy *hic* at the rightmost side of the bar, please!”

Sherwin was blinded by the lights that he used his hands to shield his eyes.

The crowd turned to face the drunken Sherwin.

He could barely comprehend what his cousin is talking about that he just raised his shot glass and smiled before swallowing his vodka.

“That guy, *hic* finally got out of his shell and humped *hic* ABAC’s resident bitch,” he added.

There was a slight murmur among the crowd. And Matthew finally ended his speech with,

“Ladies and Gentlemen: *hic* I would like to present to you, *hic* the Drooling Dork of ABAC, Sherwin Xu! *hic* The first one Reina Yang ever had!”

“Ready?” Chrissie asked as Reina parked her car.

“I am. Come what may, I’ll talk to him. Wish me luck!” Reina said.

“Good luck!” Chrissie said as she hugged her friend.

Reina took a deep steadying breath and got out of the car.

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“Yan, is it me or are people sniggering as we pass?” Reina asked. She had growing suspicion that the students were talking about her.

They were walking on the hallway, on the way to their third period.

Chrissie looked around her and could see that people are staring at them as if they had grown another head, each! And when her eyes would fall on them, they would look away.

“Yup, people are definitely talking about us,” Chrissie said nonchalantly.

“Don’t mind it, Yang. We’ve always been talked about…good or bad,” she added a matter-of-factly.

Reina looked around her and her uneasiness grew even more, “I don’t know…This time it’s weird…It’s actually creeping me out…”

“Relax, girl, you’re just nervous,” Chrissie faced her friend and her eyes lightened up. “Better yet… Focus your mind elsewhere… like Delectable Dorky.”

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“Here you go…” Matthew handed Sherwin some aspirin.

The guys were nursing a serious hangover from the event last night and they haven’t got the slightest idea of what had transpired. They passed by the drugstore in the mall on their way to Mystique Cafe at the ABAC shopping center.

They were now seated at the far end of the cafe, almost hidden from the entrance view.

“Wait let me check on that tab,” Sherwin said as he took the pills from Matt. “Aspirin, good. had to be sure, cuz! You might drug me again,” he joked and patted Matt’s back.

“Damn! This is a hell of a headache! My professors are going to be dumbfounded when they find out I missed all my morning classes because of a hangover,” Sherwin complained, rubbing his temples.

“It’s no big deal, Sherwin,” he faced his cousin. “I do that all the time,” he added as he leaned back on his chair.

Just then, Matt’s friend, Mike, joined them. “Hey, I heard about the electrifying performance you had at the Red last night,” he said as he gave Matt a high five.

He then turns to Sherwin and pats him on the back and said, “Congratulations, man! I never knew you had it in you!”

Sherwin just stared at him, puzzled…

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Reina is greatly perturbed as she cannot find nor contact Sherwin.

“I can’t seem to get him, Chris. I’ve been trying to call him but his phone’s dead,” she told her friend worriedly.

“Maybe he’s sick or something,” Chrissie replied and reassured her friend, “Come on…only half of the day has gone. You still have this afternoon and tonight.”

“Right!” Reina nodded in agreement. “Come on! Lunch is on me!”

They entered the Mystique Cafe and suddenly, all eyes turned to their direction. That’s not unusual as they were head-turners anyway but there was something in the crowd’s attention made them feel queasy.

The friends looked at each other trying to figure out what in the world is wrong.

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“Damn, Rain! I think people are REALLY talking about US…” Chrissie whispered to her friend as she looked around the suddenly quiet caf.

They headed towards a vacant booth but everyone giggled and looked at them in disgust as they passed.

“What I can’t figure out is that we never did anything over the weekend,” Chrissie was bewildered.

It didn’t last long until Reina caught a bit of what they were saying.

“I don’t think they’re talking about US… they’re talking about ME!” she uttered in horror.

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Sherwin saw her enter the caf. He has not seen her after the Ramayana incident. He stiffened. His face turned white and he felt cold all over. Cold sweat was running through his body. He did not know what to do.

“Should I approach her or not?” he silently debated.

It was Mike who broke into his thoughts, “Hey, isn’t that Reina?”

Matt scrambled groggily when he heard her name. The instant that his eyes found her, he was wide awake.

“Hey Reina!” Mike called out to her.

Reina turned to his direction and wondered who it was.

At the same time, Matthew pointed at Sherwin and cried, “Lover Boy is here!”

Matt stood up and went behind Mike and they mockingly grinded each other.

The whole place erupted in laughter.

Despite his headache, Sherwin was vastly amused at his cousin’s antics.

He looked up and his eyes locked with Reina’s and he smirked.

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Reina could have passed Matthew’s crude joke but when she saw Sherwin smirk, she froze.

She never felt shamed in her life before that she ran out of the caf.

Chrissie was left. She was too stunned to say something except, “Reina, wait!”

She was making up her mind if she should go after Reina or approach Sherwin. She decided on the latter. She wanted to talk to him straight before following her friend.

As she made her way to the guys’ table, she heard a girl bicker. It wasn’t just any girl; it was Diane, a junior. The former queen of ABAC… until THEY came along.

“Omigod! I knew that the Bitch was a virgin! But I didn’t know that she’d succumbed to the Drooling Dork! Wasn’t she the one who gave him that name?” Diane intentionally said for Chrissie to overhear.

Adding insult to injury, the dethroned queen laughed evilly, “My god! She just ate her words!”

With this, her friends laughed along with her

Chrissie couldn’t contain it any longer. She just had to do something to Diane.

She stopped walking and faced the bitter “has been”.

With a smile plastered on Chrissie’s face, she said, “Hey, slut! How about getting your face in what you’re supposed to eat?”

With that, Chrissie just pushed Diane’s face on her plate and went after Reina.

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Reina didn’t know where to go! Everywhere she turned all she could see were faces laughing at her… fingers pointing at her! This must be God’s retribution for all the things she had done!

At last, she reached the Buddhist Temple by the main building.

“Damn you, Sherwin!” Reina cried.

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Chrissie found her friend huddled in the corner of the temple.

She felt sorry for Reina and blamed herself for encouraging her friend and setting her up with Matt even though it did not push through as planned.

“Shhh…” she said trying to soothe a very distraught Reina. “Hey, honey, it’s alright!”

She sat beside her friend and gathered her in her arms.

“I can’t believe Sherwin did this to me!” Reina wailed like a child.

“Thank God! I didn’t tell him that I reconsidered his offer or else he would have laughed at me!” Reina went on, shaking her head and laughing at herself for believing that Sherwin really did offer more than just sex.

“Damn him! He told the whole school!” she wailed again, making Chrissie wish she could kill Sherwin Xu.

“Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!” Reina sobbed uncontrollably.

She awoke to the deafening sound of 40 Below Summer.

“Damn! Chrissie, leave me alone!” Reina grumbled as she snuggled back in the covers.

“Wake up! Get up, girl!” Chrissie ordered, pulling the blanket off. “Yang, are we going to play tug of war now?”

With that, Reina harrumphed, grudgingly sat up her bed, and crossed her arms over her chest.

“Rain!” Chrissie admonished as she went to turn the cd player’s volume down. “You haven’t been attending class for a couple of weeks and counting…”

“It’s not like I haven’t done that before…” Reina cut in.

“Right! But this is the finals week!” Chrissie reasoned. “I’ve been covering for you for days now! Good thing you haven’t gone out or else people would know that you’re cowering.”

“Get up, girl,” Chrissie said again, pulling on Reina’s arm. “If you attend class now, you’ll know the coverage for the exams on Wednesday.”

“But people are laughing at me!” Reina said pulling back her arm and succeeded.

“Yes, they are,” Chrissie panted, placing her hands on her waist. “It did not help that you disappeared after that fateful lunch incident.”

She sat down on Reina’s bed and said softly, “It’s been hard making people believe that you’re in Phuket to watch over Bliss because your mom’s in the US. Good thing she’s really in Miami now.”

“I owe you big time Chris,” replied Reina, wriggling her nose. She looked at her friend and whined in a little girl’s voice, “But I still can’t! Promise! I’ll go tomorrow.”

Chrissie threw her hands up in exasperation. “There goes that word again! Stop procrastinating, Rain. I know this is callous but may I just remind you what happened the last time you said I’ll-do-it-tomorrow?”

“Okay…okay!” Reina knew she was defeated but still tried to strike a bargain. “Let’s compromise,” she offered. “How about lunch time?”

Chrissie roared, “Now!”

Reina covered her ears and declared, “Lunch time. I’ll even meet you at Mystique.”

Chrissie gave up. It’s no use talking to a brat. “Fine! See you at Mystique then. Be there at 12pm sharp!”

“Yes, mother!” she replied, smiling sweetly.

“Oh by the way, go get a tan. Use that indoor tanning machine Auntie has. That would corroborate my story… look as sun kissed as a beach bum… Okay?” Chrissie said before she left her room.

“Love you, Yan!” Reina called after her.

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“Woohoo! Sherwin, wake up!” Matthew shouted as he ran into Sherwin’s room. He shook Sherwin violently to rouse him from sleep.

“What now?” Sherwin groggily asked.

“Mom just sent my graduation gift!” Matthew excitedly announced.

“Huh? But the grad’s on Sunday!” Sherwin sat up, rubbed his eyes and yawned.

Matt sat on the edge of Sherwin’s bed. “Well, I kinda asked them to send it earlier so I could drive…”

“And show it off.” Sherwin finished for him.

Matt grinned sheepishly. “That, too. It sure is a girl-magnet!”

He stood up and urged Sherwin to follow him

Sherwin lazily got up and asked, “Tell me again how we became cousins?”

“That’s easy, our mothers are sisters!” Matt replied as he headed toward the door.

The car was a Chevrolet Corvette C6. It was the latest version of Chevrolet Corvette and was launched at the Detroit Auto Show.

When Sherwin saw the car, he was amazed!

“She’s a beauty!” Sherwin said enthusiastically.

Matt looked very proud, “She is, isn’t she?” Sherwin could only nod.

Matt then proceeded to describe the car. “This latest ‘Vette musters 300kW from its six-liter motor…”

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“Well…well…well…The flirt is going solo these days, eh? Where’s your round-the-clock partner in crime?” Diane taunted as Chrissie passed by their table.

“Zip it Diane. I’m in no mood to be nice to you,” Chrissie stopped to face her and retorted.

“Touch. Reina Yang has hidden herself. Damn! If I were in her place, I’d hide, too. Imagine… she had actually let dorky hump her?” Diane maliciously added as she flipped her hair over her shoulder.

Chrissie took a deep breath and with as much control as she could muster, she retorted, “At least Dorky’s a man while you just content yourself with dogs!”

Chrissie turned and walked away, a murderous expression on her face. She thought angrily, “I’m gonna kill you Sherwin Xu! Nobody messes with the Yan and Yang!”

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“Damn! Where are those two?” Chrissie thought. She had been waiting for either Sherwin or Matt for an hour now. She’s meeting Reina for lunch in a couple of hours and she wants everything toned down by the time her friend arrives. “There’s Mike! Might as well squeeze some information”

“Hey, Mike, Honey!” she waved at him prettily.

“Hi, beautiful!” Mike replies and goes to where Chrissie was standing.

Mike had a major crush on Chrissie. He was enamored by her beauty the first time he saw her. They had even gone out a couple of times, too.

“Well? Are you just going to stand there? Don’t I get a hug or something?” Chrissie asked coyly.

Mike looked at her and smiled, “Or something…” and proceeds to kiss Chrissie.

He dragged Chrissie to his car and they both went inside.

“All alone?” Mike asked, surprised, as he nuzzled her neck. He had never seen Chrissie alone since she got in ABAC. She was always with Reina, the Bitch.

“Uhuh…” she moaned. “Reina’s in Phuket. They have a princess visiting Bliss. Her mother can’t attend to her ‘coz she’s in Miami.”

Mike stopped kissing her. “Really? I heard she was hiding!” He looked confused.

“Reina Yang? My friend? The Bitch?!” Chrissie held him away. “Do you think she’d actually hide because people found out that she slept with Sherwin?!”

“Well…” Mike shifted in his seat uncomfortably. “It’s not that she just slept with Sherwin. It’s more of Sherwin being her first.”

Chrissie laughed “Who told you such an outrageous lie? Sherwin, himself?”

He shook his head vigorously. “Sherwin? Hell no! I rarely talk to that guy. I couldn’t believe that he was actually the Yang’s first,” he moves back to nuzzle her neck again.

Chrissie thought, “Eew! Yuck! He better tell me something really good or else I just took his sloppy kisses for nothing!”

Chrissie tried to moan making him think she’s enjoying it and asked, “Then don’t believe it. But then if it’s not Sherwin, who?”

“You don’t know about The Red Announcement?” Mike asked again, astonished.

“What Red Announcement?” she tried to sound indifferent.

“You really don’t know?! It’s been around school for weeks now!” Mike replied.

“That gossip about Rain? I never paid attention to it. It’s just talk & full of crap,” Chrissie said, all the while toying with Mike’s shirt button.

“So, why bother with the whole story, right? All I know is that Sherwin and Rain got together and she ended things. Probably ‘coz he’s boring. And she’s on her way back from Bliss. In fact, I’m meeting her later,” she traced a line from his chest down to the waistband of his pants.

“Now tell me about the Red Thingy now that you’ve mentioned it…” she purred as she rubbed the bulge in his pants, distracting him.

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“I can’t believe you’re still studying!” Matt walked over to his cousin on the bench. He was strolling around when he saw his cousin.

“Sherwin, you’ll be conferred with magna cum laude honors on Sunday!” he added.

He looked over the book Sherwin is reading. “What are you trying to do? Try hard to get the summa cum laude award with your finals’ results?”

“Go away, Matt!” Sherwin said without even glancing up.

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Reina parked her car and stepped out. She paused and took her time to look around, trying to get as much attention as she could for her grand entrance.

Students at ABAC were surprised to see her as she sashayed towards the crowded building. It was lunch time after all.

“So far so good,” Reina thought as she stopped by the steps and made a display of lighting her cigarette.

A schoolmate remarked, “She looks great!” taking in Reina’s golden tan, courtesy of the tanning machine, which of course the rest of students didn’t know.

“Maybe Chrissie really told that truth,” assumed another after seeing Reina’s highlighted beach loved hair.

Clad in an all-white tank and skirt get-up to accentuate her glowing dark skin, Reina sauntered into the center.

“She’s the bitch after all…” she heard one say, “Why would a rumor bother her…”

“Nice cover, Rain. NICE,” she congratulated herself and triumphantly smiled.

Squaring her shoulders, she entered the Mystique Cafe and immediately caught sight of Sherwin. She lowered her head and shook it slowly.

Reina regretfully thought, “Oh Gosh! How can I hate him when he really looks adorable with his glasses and long sleeved shirt? His head poring over his books?”

She sighed and decided she’d go talk to him. “I don’t care what people think anymore,” and walked over to him, chin up, met his eye, and smiled.

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Sherwin was surprised to see her after a long time. “Man! She’s even more beautiful!”

“Maybe she was really in Phuket all along,” as he admired her golden skin.

“Damn! Even with all those rumors she remains unfazed,” he smirked.

“Congratulations, Reina Yang. You really are a bitch!” he scornfully added and met her gaze.

========================================================

Reina’s smile faltered and she stopped in her tracks when she saw Sherwin’s eyes darken with anger and distaste. She almost wanted to turn back and run away again but she thought of her appointment with Chrissie. It would be pointless to hide again anyway.

“It’s time to face the music, Rain. The show must go on,” she told herself and continued to walk to Sherwin’s direction.

========================================================

Matt saw Reina heading towards them.

“Hey, look what the cat dragged in,” he told Sherwin and gestured to Reina.

Sherwin broke eye contact with her and said, “Maybe she wants to have her time with you now…”

He then looks at Reina degradingly from head to foot.

The cousins’ exchange was disrupted by one of Sherwin’s close friends, Butch. If Sherwin is a dork, this guy takes the word dork to greater heights. He’s tall, lanky, pimpled, and in a nutshell, ugly.

Butch was running inside the shopping mall and yelling, “Matt! Matt!”

“What?!” an annoyed Matt answered.

“Your car…” Butch paused to catch his breath.

“I know my car’s cool,” he was getting more and more irritated at the panting geek.

“Sorry, Geek, I know you’re Sherwin’s buddy but I won’t let you take a spin in it…” Matt added and shrugged his shoulder but was cut off by Butch.

“You dickhead! I came here just to tell you that your brand new hot car is being wrecked right at this moment!”

“What the fuck?” with that, Matt rushed out of the caf and out of the building.

========================================================

Reina heard what Butch was saying. She watched as Matt rushed out followed by rest of the students inside the caf, who wanted to see the action. Sherwin trailed behind, trying to dig some more information from Butch. They were about to leave when Reina blocked his path…

“Sherwin, we need to talk…” she started.

“Not now, Reina,” he pushed her out of the way as he rushed out to go to Matt.

========================================================

Outside the cafe, the sound of a car slamming into another car can be heard.

Chrissie was backing up and then stepped on the accelerator and hit Matt’s passenger seat.

Everybody moaned as her car collided with his.

“What the hell are you doing to my car?” Matt bellowed as he pointed at his car.

She backed up again, stepped on the brakes, and stood from her seat.

“Omigod! Is that your car?” Chrissie feigned innocence.

“I could have sworn that the owner was a girl!” She added. She then sat back and hit the car again then backed up.

Matt was rooted to the ground! He was extremely shocked!

“How could I forget?” Chrissie paused again and yelled. “The owner has a MOUTH OF A BABBLING LYING EXAGGERATING GIRL!”

“You said you own this thing? Then it’s such a shame that you, the great Matthew Li, are such a gossiping little CHIT!” she sneered and slammed her car against his for the nth time.

========================================================

Sherwin turned and found Reina who was starting to smile at her friend’s antics.

“You planned this all along!” Sherwin ran to her and grabbed her shoulders and accused her hotly.

“Sherwin, I…” Reina tried to reason with Sherwin.

Sherwin wouldn’t hear any of it. He pushed her away. “Save it, Bitch!”

Reina was deeply insulted and for the first time she felt hurt and degraded to be called a bitch! It was one thing to hear it from other people but it was another to hear it from Sherwin.

She blinked back the tears that threatened to flow and thought, “I will not cry in front of you Sherwin.”

She raised her head and squeezed herself out the door.

“Yan! Nice job!” she shouted and rushed to Chrissie.

“Enjoying the show, Yang?” she yelled back, so everyone could hear.

Reina laughed. “Let’s just say you’ve outdone yourself!” And goes to her own car parked nearby.

Chrissie was enjoying immensely. “I have a broken fender but who cares? This is so much fun!” Backs up real far and sped toward Matt’s car.

Matt realized what she was going to do and tried to stand between her and his car. But as soon as he saw Chrissie expression, he quickly jumped out of the way.

“Ooops, I did it again!” Chrissie said in a singsong voice, smiled impishly, and sped out of ABAC followed by Reina waving goodbye to their audience.

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