The atmosphere between them was not as calm as the weather from outside. Both were feeling tense, though they didn’t know why. It must have been the coffee — or maybe something else. But there they sat quietly; eyes distracted by the clouds drifting faster as the seconds go by. A deep breath to break the silence. Then, their eyes meet.
“You know what, I’ve been thinking,” the man said while lightly shaking his cup of coffee as if stirring its brewed content.
“About what?” the woman said.
“What if ‘us’ happened?” he looked at her. “Would we still be together?”
She looked down. Then back at his eyes. The same pair of eyes she longed to see again for a very long time.
“You know, that question has also bothered me for eight years already,” she said with a faint smile on her face.
“Really?” his face had a mixed emotion of hope and disbelief.
She looked at him and gave a slight nod.
“For all those years,” he said. “I always wanted to talk to you.”
“Why didn’t you?” she asked.
“I was afraid.”
“Afraid of what?”
“That you might not keep your word.”
He looked away and held his cup with both hands.
“That you might still reject me even if we settled to be just friends,” he continued.
It was the perfect dress; so simple, yet so elegant, how the lilies embraced the creamy hue of the blouse. Its beauty is one of a kind, such that it makes its wearer look like the goddess of spring. It was what she was wearing when we first met. At a table by the coffee shop window, she sat there quietly reading her copy of Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon. At times, she pauses to take a sip from her cup of joe. She looks around then continues reading, perhaps she’s waiting for somebody. I’m not a stalker, but it’s just my nature observing people and looking for the best things that they have.
It wasn’t easy approaching her. I had some doubts. But I want to be close to her. I had this feeling that there is something about her that makes me want to get near her. And I shouldn’t fight that, or I’ll have a hard time sleeping that night. I would never be able to count sheep for the creature’s innocent look will just remind me all the time about the lilies running against her fleece – her lovely blouse. How can a lone wolf approach a solitary sheep without scaring it away? The wolf takes a deep breath and prepares its legs for the plunge. The sheep notices, keeping an eye at its predator. She wants to escape, but the wolf desires prey.
And so, the chase begins.
I’ve been living here longer than most of the people here. I was born here and I grew up here. For the past two and a half decades, I watched this town grow. New faces in new houses; every day is a brighter day.
Most of the locals I grew up with are perhaps too old to recognize me, but some still do. Was it because I aged or had their memory been erased by time? On my morning walks, I pass by some neighbours sweeping old leaves and food wrappers off the street. They would often notice me and call my name to say hello. Only the old folks do this. The new neighbours don’t fancy sweeping the street. Are they still asleep? Or do they not like mornings at all?
I remember back when I was still young, I would often go out and play with my friends. We would play tag, hide-and-seek, and even pretend we are playing Counter-Strike live with pretend-bombs, bomb sites, and spawn areas. All of us call each other nicknames, and we only know each other by those names. I’m not sure if they still remember mine, but I still do remember theirs. It has been years since I last played with my friends. I seldom see my old playmates; if I do, I would see them smoking sticks. Some might have already left to live somewhere else with their parents. It seems like I’m the only one left here.
I do not go out and go around town that much anymore. But if I were shown all the people living in our town, I can recognize which people are living in the vicinity, while also naming those who I know. The rest, they are our new neighbours who settled in the numerous newly built apartments probably because our town is near the workplace. I can say, our town really grew big through the years.
A few months ago, I thought I saw a familiar face. I have a feeling because I can recall playing with her many years ago when we were kids. Or maybe she was just another of those new kids who came here just a few years back. I am not sure; I might not have actually seen her before.
Ah, my lips. My everlasting luscious lips. For a long time, I have longed to have my lips to be as red as the purest drop of blood. Something that even the Kardashians would envy of having.
It was Friday night. I was busy applying my make-up on my pretty face. Carefully, I put some lip-gloss on my lips, wanting them to be as shiny as polished ruby.
“Hey, gorgeous!” I said to myself as I puckered my freshly-glossed lips.
Suddenly, my phone rang. It was one of my girls calling.
“Hey, girl!” she said. “Where are you? We’re already in the club. Hurry up!”
“Yas, yas,” I said while wiping the excess lip-gloss from my lips. “The princess is almost done. Just applying some lipstick on my lips.”
“You always take a long time putting on some lipstick,” my friend complained. “Would ya hurry your ass up?”
Just as I was about to end the call, I noticed something sticking out of my lips. It was a bit of dry skin. Well, I don’t want anything sticking out of my lower lip, so I pulled it out. I know it’s just small, but damn, it hurts. It left a tiny wound on my lip, which also bled for a tiny amount. I don’t mind wiping it away if it makes my lips appear more reddish.
I hurried up and went to the club as soon as I finished putting on the last layer of my bloody red lipstick. I arrive at the nightclub after a 30-minute ride and joined up with my friends.
“Hey, gals!” I greeted with my hands raised to give them a hug. “The princess is here!”
We hugged and kissed each other’s cheeks as welcome. Each of us grabbed a drink and enjoyed the wild night beneath the darkness and the laser lights.
“What are we waiting for?” one of the girls said. “Let’s go get some boys!”
And in a moment, the night just went wilder than it already was.
Isang misteryosong lalaking nakasuot ng jacket ang pumasok sa mall kanina at biglang ikinanta nang malakas ang pambansang awit ng Pilipinas. Nagtinginan ang mga tao sa kanya at ang iba ay inirecord nila ang pangyayari sa kanilang phone cameras. Nang siya’y nalalapit na sa huling bahagi ng awitin, “Ang mamatay nang dahil sa’yooo!!!”, isang malakas na pagsabog ang narinig sa isang bahagi ng mall. Continue reading
Palagi kong naaalala ang sinasabi sa akin ng kapatid ko sa tuwing binibilhan kami ng pagkain ng aming nanay.
“Patikim ako, kuya.”
Oo, palagi kong naririnig iyan. Kahit na pareho kaming binilhan ng pagkain ng nanay namin, lalapit pa rin siya at hihingi sa kinakain ko.
“Binilhan ka na nga ni nanay, oh!” reklamo ko minsan. “Bakit mo pa kailangan humingi?”
“Eh kasi, hindi ko pa ‘yan natitikman,” katwiran niya palagi.
Hindi naman ko naman siya kayang tanggihan dahil baka magtampo siya at isumbong pa ako kay nanay. Kaya wala tuloy akong magagawa kundi ang ipatikim sa aking kapatid ang kinakain ko
Linggo ng umaga. Isang ama ang gumising at nagluto ng almusal. Nagprito siya ng hotdog at itlog na paborito ng kanyang anak na babae. Kinuha niya ang bahaw na kanin sa pridyidir at isinangag ito sa kawali. Nang matapos siya ay pumunta siya sa kwarto ng anak upang ito’y gisingin.
“Gising na, anak,” sabi ng ama sa kanyang anak.
“Good morning, papa,” naaalimpungatan pa ang bata.
“Good morning din, anak. Oh, bumangon ka na; nagluto ako ng paborito mo. Bilisan mong bumangon dahil pupuntahan natin si mama ngayon”
“Talaga po ba?” ngumiti ang bata. “Yehey!”
Dali-daling bumangon ang batang babae at pumunta sa hapagkainan upang kumain na ng almusal. Masaya siya dahil makikita na niya ulit ang kanyang ina. Matagal na kasi niya itong hindi nakikita.
Matapos nilang kumain ay pinaliguan na ng ama ang kanyang anak. Binihisan niya ito ng magandang damit at tinirintasan ang buhok. Siya rin ay nagbihis ng disenteng polo at pinabanguhan ang sarili. Nang sila’y matapos sa pag-aayos sa sarili ay sumakay na sila sa kanilang kotse at nagtungo sa kanilang pupuntahan.
Tumigil muna sila para mamili sa isang tindahan ng bulaklak. Pinagmasdan ng bata ang magagandang mga bulaklak na naka-display sa harap ng tindahan. Mayroong mga rosas, daisy, at marami pang iba, Pero ang namukod tangi sa kanyang mga mata ay ang paborito niyang daffodil na kakasibol pa lamang.
“Papa, gusto ko ‘yun oh!” itinuro niya ang daffodil.
Hawak ng kanyang ama ang isang palumpon ng carnation na napili niyang bilhin.
“Ale, isa na rin pong maliit na buoquet doon sa bulaklak na tinuturo ng anak ko,” ang sabi niya sa tindera.
Kinuha ng tindera ang isang namumukadkad na palumpon ng daffodil at ibinigay ito sa bata. Tuwang tuwa ang batang babae nang matanggap niya ang palumpon ng daffodils. Inamoy niya ito at nagpasalamat sa kanyang ama na nagbabayad sa tindera.
“Thank you po, papa! Matutuwa rin si mama sa ibibigay niyo sa kanya,” ang sabi niya.
“Para kanino ba ‘yang mga bulaklak na ‘yan?” tanong ng kanyang ama.
“Para po kay mama,” sagot ng bata. “Sasabihin ko sa kanya na paborito ko ‘tong bulaklak na ito.”
“Sigurado akong matutuwa siya kapag nakita niya iyan,” napangiti ang kanyang ama.
Hinubad ko ang aking damit na babad sa pawis mula sa aking huling workout session. Humarap ako sa salamin. Nakita ko ang isang diyosang ubod ng ganda ang katawan. Leeg na kaynipis. Dibdib na kaylaki. Beywang na kaysikip. Balakang na kaylapad. Pwet na kaytambok. Binti na kaytikas. Ako na nga ito. Ilang taon kong hinintay ‘to. Ilang taon akong nag-diet, nag-jogging, nag-sit-up, at kung ano pang klase ng ehersisyo para lang sa araw na ‘to. Sa wakas, nabawasan na ng 72 kilos ang timbang ko, nabawasan na rin ng 12 inches ang waistline ko, at higit sa lahat, maganda at malaki na ang pwet at dibdib ko! Ilang taon kong pinaghandaan ito. Sana naman ngayon, matanggap na niya ako.