Pag-uwi ay nararamdaman kong naghihintay lang sina Mom and Dad ng gagawin ko. Nilingon ko sila nang makalapit ako sa hagdan. "What's for dinner?"
Tila may magandang ideya na naisip si Mom kaya malapad siyang ngumiti sa akin. "Your favorite!" I smiled and can't help but to chuckle at her cuteness. "Alright."
I went to my room and changed into home clothes before unpacking my suitcase. Matapos kong maayos ang mga gamit ko'y agad akong lumapit sa aking study table. I opened my laptop and connected my camera into it.
I chose the best shots and compiled it in one folder. As I was browsing through the shots, I saw the picture I took of Renzo on the beach and stared at it for a while. He looks like a tourist perfect for the beach.. hot, tanned and eye-catching. His built can make every woman give a second look. In the end, I sent it to Mr. De Guzman with the other best shots.
Tumunog ang aking cellphone hufyat na may tumatawag. The caller ID says it was Gigi so I immediately answered the call. "Hello?"
"Nasa 'yo na ba ang cellphone mo?"
I heard her sigh. "Actually, tinago ng parents mo 'yan sa bag mo at pinatay para hindi ka makatanggap ng kahit anong text o tawag kay Renzo. And speaking or Renzo, he texted me earlier, he wants to know kung nasa 'yo na ba ang cellphone mo. I think he wants to call you."
"Tell him my phone was confiscated."
"Okay. But I won't use the word confiscated, that's very high school. Hindi 'yon maniniwala."
At this point, the best thing for us to do is to lie low.
I went downstairs when mom called me for dinner. The house was too silent because the maids already went upstairs so I struck up a conversation. "I'm going to get a copy of my next projects for the rest of the month. If it has to take place outside the country, would you like to join me?"
Nagtinginan sina Mom and Dad bago sabay na ngumiti. "Of course, anak. I really wanted to spend time with you. I missed you a lot. Plus, your father is exhausting himself at work. He needs this rest."
Dad sighed and shook his head disregarding what Mom has said. "Fidel will be targeted soon. I have to prepare it very well."
"Targeted?" I asked.
"Don't mind it. It's your problem anymore. Plus, I already prepared my last will. I want you to know something.."
Just when my father was about to speak, we hear a loud noise from upstairs. We remained silent for a while. It was clearly a sound of a broken vase. I recalled in my memory of which part of my room has a vase or a figurine.
There's a vase near the glass door!
Dad stood up. "Wait here."
Dahan-dahan niyang nilakad ang distansya palabas sa kusina. Sinundan namin siya ni Mom hanggang sa sala. Mom hid me behind her as we all stared at the stairs. The second floor of the mansion was in total darkness so it's impossible that is was one of our maids. Plus, the noise is so loud. Ibig sabihin ay maaaring sa library, sa office ni Dad o sa common bathroom lamang iyon nanggaling dahil ito ang mga silid na malapit sa hagdan.
The housemaids' quarters were on the endmost part of the left and right wind of the mansion. If the noise came from one of those rooms, it's must be impossible for us to hear.
Dad faded into the darkness. We waited patiently. "Susan?" Mom called one of our housemaids but I immediately nudged her and whispered. "If an intruder really broke into our house, we can't have Susan with us.. who's going to call the police if something happens? The other housemaids might rather run than help us."
A figure came out of the darkness and our immediate reaction was to step back. But my mother was too frantic that she started to shout!
Before I could look back on the intruder, a loud gunshot resounded in the whole place. I closed my eyes and shouted in shock until I felt my mom's grip on me loosen.. and when I opened my eyes, she's already lying on the floor!
Another gunshot was fired so I immediately ducked and covered myself with my arms. My tears started to fall as my heart pounded painfully. I heard another sound of a fallen object followed by my father's scream.. "Tamara!"
I immediately glanced at the stair. The intruder was now lying unconsciously on the floor. I felt a liquid on my palm and when I darted my eyes at my mother.. she's already bleeding to death!
"Mom! Mom! Wake up!" I badly want to shake her but I am so scared to even lay a finger..
Dad ran the distance towards us and knelt down beside Mom. "Tamara! Tamara!"
My whole body is trembling that I couldn't even move a muscle. I just stared at my mother with her eyes closed and white skin tainted with blood.
"Tamara! Don't die on me.. Tamara!" Dad's wailing knocked my senses. I immediately stood up and looked for the telephone. I heard a few footsteps on the stairs.
"Anong nangyari?!" Susan froze at the sight of the situation.
The person on the other line answered the call.. "Hello, this is 911."
"We need an ambulance! Uh.. Mios Avez Subdivision.. Block four.. M..makati City. Please hurry!"
"Tamara!!!" I trembled in fear when my father's deafening scream sent a piercing pain through my bones.
I hung up the phone and hurried to my wounded mother. Nang makaluhod ako sa kaniyang tabi ay agad akong natiligan. Hawak ni Dad ang kamay ni Mom pero tulala na lamang siya, it's like he just.. gave up. What.. what is going on?
"Mom? Mom!" I placed two of my fingers under her jawline but I cannot feel her pulse!
"Mom! No.. Mom!" Tinakpan ko ang aking mukha gamit ang aking mga palad.
No.. this is not real! This is not real!
The ambulance came and they forced us to let go of my mother's hand. All I could do was to watch them carry her into the stretcher as I cried in Susan's embrace. With so many fucking evil in this world who deserves to die, why does it have to be my mom?!
My eyes darted at my father. He's still kneeling on the floor while staring at his bloody hands. He's not moving a muscle but the bunch of tears streaming down his cheeks showed much of his pain..
Nakatitig lamang ako sa pinto ng emergency room habang hinihintay na lumabas ang doktor. Si Dad ay tahimik lamang sa aking tabi. Walang humpay ang buhos ng aking luha habang paulit-ulit na nagdarasal. Sa sobrang pagkirot ng puso ko'y hindi na ako makahinga ng maayos pero ininda ko ang sakit. Kailangang narito ako kapag lumabas ang doktor.
Nang bumukas ang pinto ay sabay kaming tumayo ni Dad. "How's my wife?"
The doctor gave us a mournful look.. No.. no!
"She.. died on the spot. Just before the rescuers came.. she passed away-"
"You worthless bastard!" Before I could even react, Dad already gave the doctor a hard punch on the face!
The guards ran towards us and held my father in his arms trying to calm him down. My whole body weakened and I fell down on my knees as bunch of tears filled my eyes again.. My vision is blurry and all I could hear was my father screaming mother's name and all I could feel was the painful crippling of my heart.. like it was being squeezed until all the blood drips.
My body was trembling in pain.. my head is pounding in shock and yet.. all I could do is to cry. Mom.. I can't lose her.. I can't lose her!
I can feel my body losing all its balance but someone held me in place and locked me in a tight embrace..