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A nerve-wracking marriage of two old lovers who broke up once few years ago If there will be a reverse button, would they choose to click it

Tuloy-tuloy ang pag-vibrate ng cellphone ko kaya napadilat na ako sa gulat. Shit. Inilibot ko ang tingin ko sa buong library. Shit! Nakatulog na ako rito! Mabilis kong sinagot ang tawag ni Macy habang inaayos ang gamit ko.

"Hello? Nandiyan na ba si Ma'am?"

"Omg, girl! Where are you? Absent ka sa dalawang subject."

"Uh.. ugh.. shit."

"Wendy? What's wrong?"

Napahawak ako sa ulo ko dahil sa sobrang pagkirot.  Binitawan ko rin muna ang cellphone ko dahil sa panghihina. That was a very long dream - galing sa pagkakapikit, napadilat ako nang marahas.

Holy shit. Did I just dream about my whole life? My whole life?!

There's this.. this.. man.

Ugh! Nagmadali na ako sa pagtayo at lalabas na sana pero naalala ko ang librong kailangan ko. Nasapo ko ang noo ko habang naglalakad pabalik sa mga shelf.

Nakita ko rin agad ang libong hinahanap ko nang tumingala ako sa bandang itaas ang shelf na nasa harap ko. Sinubukan kong abutin pero masyadong mataas. Damn it, late na 'ko.

Sinusubukan ko pa ring abutin pero isang kamay na ang mabilis na nakakuha ng libro at paglingon ko, halos matumba ako sa gulat.

Oh, God.. no.. no.. siya 'yung nasa panaginip ko. Is this real? Is he real?

Inabot niya ang libro sa'kin kaya pinilit kong ngumiti, "Thank you.."

No, don't be weird, Wendy. Baka coincidence lang.. Why is he here? Who is he? No, I know his name.. He's.. 

"Are you.. Renzo?"

Kumunot ang noo niya at tipid na napangiti, "Yes."

Lumunok ako nang malala habang dinadama ang malakas na tibok ng puso ko. Napanaginipan ko ang buong buhay ko, hindi ko maalala lahat pero.. 

His mother, si Daddy at si Mom.. they.. 

I took a step back habang hindi pa rin makapaniwala. Hindi ako pwedeng magkamali, siya ang nasa panaginip ko.. I'm starting to get scared at hindi ko na mapigilang magpawis sa kaba. 

Kumunot ng noo niya at tila napansing hindi ako komportable kaya tipid siyang ngumiti at kumaway, "Uh, see you around.." saka siya lumakad palayo at naupo sa isang kalapit na lamesa. 

Kaysa tumunganga roon, lumabas na ako sa library at tumakbo na palayo. 

Paakyat pa lang ako sa hagdan pero nagtext na si Macy na tapos na ang klase at magkita na lang kami sa cafe na madalas naming puntahan.

Napahinto naman ako sa pagtakbo at tumigil sa hagdan. Ang totoo niyan, wala talaga sa klase ang isip ko kundi sa lalaki kanina.. 

Renzo.. 

He's real. 

"Gosh, Wendy! Ang putla mo!"

Natigil ako sa pag-iisip nang lingunin si Macy at si Belle na naglalakad palapit sa'kin. Iilan lang ang tao rito sa cafe kaya nangibabaw talaga ang boses ni Macy. Sa counter naman, isang babae lang ang naroon.

"You skipped two classes, what happened?" 

Napabuntong hininga ako at naupo nang diretso.. "No matter how crazy this sounds. You have to listen to me, okay?" 

Nagkatinginan sila at sabay na nagkibit balikat.

"Okay.. I dozed off earlier, for like three hours? And.. I.. I dreamed about my whole life, as in my whole life the moment I met this boy."

Sumingkit ang mata ni Macy at biglang natawa. "You're exaggerating, you dreamed about your whole life? Who dreams about their whole life?" 

Umirap ako at lumapit pa sa kanila, "Okay not that whole.. In my dream, I met this boy.. and this boy, we had this.. relationship."

Nanlaki ang mga mata nila pero agad akong kumaway sa hangin para putulin ang naiisip nila. "But we broke up.. and we met again years after. Then we got married but the thing is.. it's a miserable marriage."

Tila may kumirot sa puso ko habang inaalala ang mga detalye.. "He cheated on me purposely.. and his mother, died.. because.. Dad p-planned it.. and mom.. she.. she was killed.. I.." 

Napasandal ako sa kinauupuan ko dahil sa panghihina. No, it's just a dream.. it's just a dream.

"But.." 

Tumaas ang kilay ni Macy, "But?"

"It was a happy ending.."

"Did you get married again?"

I tilted my head at inalala ang panaginip ko.. "Well, no. But we're happy.."

Nanlaki na ang mga mata ni Macy habang hindi maitago ang tuwa, "Omg, Renzo is walking towards us! He's so handsome talaga.." 

Bago pa ako makalingon, nagpakita na nga si Renzo sa harap ko pero imbes na tumingin sa akin, diretso ang tingin niya kay Macy at naglahad ng kamay, "Kukunin ko na 'yung libro ko."

Matamis naman ang ngiti ni Macy habang si Belle, alam kong pinagmamasdan ako. Kung maputla ako ngayon, hindi na nakapagtataka. 

Gosh, he's real.

"Uh, thank you sa pagpapahiram, Renzo. Sayang talaga hindi ka namin ka-batch.." 

Nang maibaot ni Macy ang libro, bumaling si Renzo sa'kin at ngumiti, "Coffee.." saka niya nilapag ang kape sa lamesa bago ngumiti ulit at tuluyan nang umalis. 

Nanatili ang tingin ko sa kape habang lumilipad na ang isip ko.. 

"I think he likes you, Wendy.." Napalingon ako kay Belle na matamis ang ngiti. 

Unti-unti akong umiling.. well, that's bad.

Sigurado ako sa panaginip ko, I can't remember everything pero malinaw sa'kin ang mga importanteng nangyari.. 

There are so many mistakes done, so many lives ruined and so many years wasted.. 

But the the kisses felt real. It all felt real and if Renzo and I would have to go through all of it over again, would it be worth it?

"It's not worth it.." I whispered habang itinatabi ang kape sa gilid ng lamesa.

"What is?" 

Nilingon ko si Macy at nagkibit balikat, "I don't like him.."

It's not worth it, the ending of my dream was good but the whole thing was so painful. The dream felt real.. everything felt real and if this is like.. my second life, I want to do this right. 

"Why don't you give him a chance?"

Unti-unti akong umiling. Dad doesn't want me to have a boyfriend yet, I should obey him. Nangyari lahat ng 'yon mula nang suwayin ko si Dad.. 

Plus, no matter how beautiful the ending was, I should not risk lives just to get that ending again. I'm pretty sure I remember it right, Renzo's mother died so was my mom at nagkasakit si Daddy.. that too high of a price.

"Malay mo naman, it's different this time. Tsaka it's just a dream.. and you ended up together naman diba..  Hindi mo pa nakilala pero nasa panaginip mo na, so baka he's your one true love, right?"

Umiling ako, "No, I don't want a love like that.. Earning love shall not be at the expense of someone else's life. That happy ending cost us both of our mother's lives, Belle.." 

"Why are you exaggerating ba? Just give it a try.." 

Sa pag-uusap namin hindi ko napansing nakatitig na ako sa isang barista sa counter. I gulped as I stared at him.. 

He smiled at the woman in front of her kaya lumabas ang dimple niya. He have this hooded eyes that narrows as he smiles.. 

"Uy, type mo?"

Napalingon ako kay Belle na humihigop ng kape niya habang nakatingin na rin sa barista. 

"He's our schoolmate. Scholar 'yan so he's pretty smart. Irreg dahil may work siya rito." si Macy.

I watched the guy fix his hairnet habang nakikipag-usap pa rin sa babae sa kaniyang harapan. In my dream, I met him during college years, we are two years early.. 

"I know him.."

Napalingon sa akin si Macy at si Belle, "Really?"

"His name is Julius and that woman in front of him, that's Gigi.."

"You, stalker!"

I chuckled and rolled my eyes. Sa panaginip ko, una ko silang nakita sa isang restaurant, but it's a cafe now. The dream is pretty different in some ways after all. 

"Oh, I thought bawal ka mag-boyfriend? Baka matunaw 'yang Julius na 'yan."

Pinigil ko ang ngiti ko at umirap, "I just wanna be friends-"

"Friends, my ass. Plus, you're 18 na so if you really want to have boyfriend na, ipaalam mo sa daddy mo. Maybe he'll change his mind."

Napalingon ako sa maliit na calendar sa pader. That's another difference, in my dream, I met Renzo when I was sixteen. But today, I just turned 18, we are two years late. 

This really feels like a second life, which is sobrang rare dahil minsan, once the damage has been done, it cannot be reserved anymore.. so I am lucky. 

Tumanaw ako sa labas at sa 'di kalayuan, natanaw ko si Renzo na nag-aabang pa rin ng masasakyan. 

You'll get your own girl soon, Renzo.. and maybe, it'll be less complicated because surely, you'll learn from you mistakes. We will not follow what we have dreamed about, we will make our own love story, a better one.. and for that to happen, we have to go separate ways. 

Nag-vibrate ulit ang cellphone ko kaya sinagot ko ang tawag ni Dad, "Hello?"

"Where are you? I'll fetch you.."

"I'm with Belle and Macy, Dad.."

"Really? Or maybe  you're on a date?"

I chuckled and shook my head.. "Would you let me, though?" 

Saglit na natahimik ang paligid habang ang mata ko'y dumapo na naman kay Julius na abala sa counter. His movements are so precise like he knows very much what he's doing, he bites his lips once in a while and oh, look at those veins in his arms, he's so manly for an 18 year old boy. 

I bit my lower lip as I stared at him. No I realized, masyado akong mabait at inosente sa panaginip ko, hindi naman masamang maging mabait but it's not so me. 

"Well, let's see your candidates, then." sagot ni Dad sa kabilang linya.

Napangiti ako at tumango, "Is that for sure?"

I heard him sigh, "Actually, I had this weird dream.. maybe it's a warning so.. I'm doing things right this time."

Napawi ang ngiti ako kasabay ang mabilis na tibok ng puso ko. He also dreamed about it.. 

"Wendy?"

"Y-yes, Dad?"

"Have you met a boy named, Renzo? Before? Or you can just be honest with me, I won't get mad, is he your boyfriend?"

Despite the shock, nilingon kong muli si Renzo na pasakay na sa jeep na pinara niya. Natigilan ako nang lumingon siya sa gawi ko. He smiled at me, like he's ready to let go and choose what's best for all of us. 

"No, Dad. I haven't met that guy. But.. I like you to meet.. Julius.. if.. he agrees to be friends with me." 

Dad chuckled and I can imagine him nodding, "Alright. Go home early and tell me something about this Julius. I bet he's a good boy."

I chuckled. "Okay, bye, Dad." 

Kung iisa nga lang ang panaginip namin ni Dad, he'll surely know Julius is a good guy. So if Dad had the same dream, did Julius and Gigi dream about it as well? 

Oh boy, now I'm curious. 

"Okay, can't wait for Arriane anymore. I wanna eat." Kinuha na ni Macy ang wallet niya at ganun din si Belle na nilingon ako, "What do you want?"

"The usual.."

"Bakit hindi ka kaya sumama? You know, have a little chitchat doon sa bet mong barista."

I chuckled and shook my head. "No need. He'll come to me, Belle."

"Wow! Look at that confidence!"

Umirap lang si Macy pero hindi rin mapigil ang ngiti. Nang makalapit sila sa counter, napasandal na lang ako sa upuan ko habang pinapanood ang malaking orasan sa pader. 

Now, I'm not sure anymore if it was a dream or maybe I traveled back in time? Or maybe I was reincarnated? But surely, that's a bunch of good and bad memories. 

A part of me wants to try it again tho, to see if everything will just repeat once I get involved with Renzo again but I realized, I don't want a life like that.. Maybe this is cowardice but life doesn't need you to be just brave, it also needs you to be smart.

Ayokong mabuhay sa takot na baka maulit lang ang lahat. I don't want to exhaust myself trying to counter-attack all the mistakes just to prevent my father from doing bad things or to prevent my mother from dying.. or stop Renzo from cheating on me.

I don't have to fight against my own dream. I know there will be more new problems to come, I will never be bored. 

"Wendy girl, okay ka lang ba talaga?"

Hindi ko napansing nasa harap ko na ulit si Macy at Belle. I nodded and smiled.

"By the way, this cake is a treat from your barista boy." Macy chuckled as she handed me a small plate with a chocolate cake on it. Nilingon ko si Julius na nahuli kong nakatingin sa'kin, he smiled and bowed his head para itago ang ngiti. 

 Napangiti na lang ako habang tinitikman ang cake.. Hmm, this feels like a fresh start. 


THE END.


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