Saturday, May 2, 2020

Password to your Heart - CHAPTER 4

Chapter One


3nd week of March, 2013

MAKULIMLIM ang langit na para bang nakikiramay kay Celine. Alam niyang kailangan niyang lumabas ng bahay, kailangan niya ng sariwang hangin. Pero halos dalawang buwan na niyang ikinukulong ang kanyang sarili sa loob ng bahay at ang kaya lang niyang gawin ay ang sumilip sa malaki niyang bintana at tingnan mula roon ang magandang tanawin sa labas.

Being in a relationship, Celine has come to realize, is far from her expectations. It wasn’t fullfiling; it wasn’t something that could inspire her to be better. Well, not for her at least. Kung meron man siyang ipinagpapasalamat sa mga oras na iyon, iyon ay ang desisyon niyang hindi madaliin ang mga bagay-bagay.

Two months ago, Emil and Celine ended their almost 2-year (on and off) relationship. She thinks that being with Emil somehow made her feel as if she’s losing her identity, that she’s no longer the Celine that she used to be.

She knew that it’s for the best, not only for her but for Emil as well. Pero magkagano’n man, hindi mawawala ang lungkot, ang luha. Dahil hindi biro ang dalawang taon. Minahal niya si Emil nang buo at mahirap para sa kanya ang paghihiwalay na iyon.

Mugto pa rin ang mga mata ni Celine, at hanggang ngayon ay ramdam pa rin niya ang sakit niyon. Ano na nga ba ang mangyayari sa buhay niya pagkatapos ng lahat, lalo na’t buong buhay na yata niya ay pinlano na niya na kasama si Emil? Kailanman ay hindi niya naisip na hahantong sila sa ganito kaya wala siyang plan B.

Now that she’s thinking about it, marami siyang gustong gawin, at gustong balikan. Gusto niyang mag-aral uli. Siguro baking, o kaya kahit ano na may kinalaman sa arts and crafts. She’ll travel. It’s one thing that she always wanted to do. Ipapahinga muna niya ang puso, at pipigilan ang sarili na ma-inlove sa maling tao – o sa kahit na kanino.

Sinubukan ni Celine na ituon ang atensiyon sa binabasang libro. Malapit nang dumilim pero hindi pa niya nagagalaw ang pina-deliver niyang pizza dahil wala naman siyang ganang kumain. Gano’n siguro talaga kapag brokenhearted. Walang ganang kumain, walang ganang matulog, walang gana sa lahat ng bagay.

Kung sana lang, magkaro’n siya ng dahilan para ngumiti muli.

Hihiga na sana siya uli sa kanyang kama nang biglang may kumatok sa pinto. Alam ng mga tao sa bahay na ayaw muna niyang paistorbo at huwag siyang gagambalain kung di rin lang importante.

“Ate, may bisita ka!”

Si Emil kaya iyon? Parang hindi pa yata niya kayang muling makaharap ito. Tumayo siya at tinungo ang pinto. Sasabihin niya sa kapatid na paalisin ang bisita’ng iyon, kung sino man iyon. Dahil ayaw niya ng kausap. Ni hindi na niya nagawang ayusin ang magulong mahabang buhok nang buksan niya ang pinto.

“H-hi.”

Kinailangan pang tingalain iyon ni Celine. Was she hallucinating?

The truth is, she has forgotten about him. Okay, not completely, but she has finally accepted the fact that what she had for him is what others simply call ‘complicated’ – isang bagay na walang patutunguhan. Natutunan niya iyong tanggapin, at natutunan niyang kalimutan.

He was still gorgeous, nothing has really changed in him after all those years. Except that he looked more mature, more good looking. Hindi nakagalaw si Celine. Hindi niya inaasahan na muli silang magkikita, at makikita siya nito sa ganoong estado.

“So, it is true,” simula nito. “That you’ve broken up.”

“H-how did you know?” Kumunot ang noo ni Celine.

“Facebook. And well, it’s pretty obvious.” Tiningnan siya ng binata mula ulo hanggang paa. “You look awful.”

Alam ni Celine na nagbibiro lang ang binata. Pero alam rin niyang may katotohanan sa sinabi nito. She indeed looked awful. She’s wearing her old oversized white shirt, no slippers, no make-up. Her hair was a mess, her eyes swollen.

“What are you doing here?”

“I missed you.”

Bigla, gustong himatayin ni Celine.

“And I wanted to talk you.”

“Talk to me? Why?” Muli, kumunot ang noo niya.

“Because...I made a promise.” Lumapit nang mas malapit si Evan kay Celine. Naroon pa rin sila sa pintuan, magkaharap. “And I always keep my promise.” Tinapik ni Evan ng bahagya ang pisngi ng dalaga, na tila ito isang bata.

Ang kanina pang mabilis na tibok ng puso niya ay mas lalo pang bumilis. He was looking at her intensely, as if there will be no tomorrow.

“I know we are two years late but what the heck.” He smiled.

“What are you talking about?” naguguluhan niyang tanong. Bigla, parang nawala ang antok niya, kasama ng kanyang katinuan. Kumunot ang noo niya, pinaliit ang mga mata at napanganga habang naghihintay ng tugon mula sa kaharap.

“Look, Celine, I’m not rushing you or anything. I know you’re still hurting, you still probably love the guy...and I understand. I just want you to know that I’m just here, waiting. Like I always have.”

Celine was overwhelmed at hindi niya alam ang itutugon. “But I thought you were-“ Naguguluhan siya sa nangyayari, at kahit pa alam niyang dapat ay masaya siya, parang may mali. 

“Married? Hell no!” natatawang sabi ni Evan. “The only girl I want to marry is...right here.”

That was unexpected. Kahit pa ilang taon niyang pinangarap iyon mula sa binata, hindi siya nangahas na isipin na magkakatotoo iyon. Celine was supposed to be brokenhearted, sad and hopeless. But as she looks at Evan, she feels elated, something that she has never felt for a very long time.

“By the way, about my parents...they are not really happy about this but after so much persuasion, here I am.”

Oh-oh.

“They gave me a condition though,” seryoso si Evan na nakatingin sa kanya. “They said, they wanted a grandchild, immediately.”

Nanlaki ang mga mata ni Celine.

“But I said, hey, that’s impossible, I can’t just do that...because I’ve got to marry you first, I told them. And so-“ may kinuha si Evan sa bulsa ng pantalon nito. “My mom advised me to give you this.” And he handed a vintage diamond ring, an heirloom that is passed on to many generations already. It is a 4 karat yellow gold with oval cut diamond.

Napatakip ang dalawa niyang kamay sa kanyang bibig. “Is this a proposal? I mean, are you proposing now?” mahinang tanong ni Celine.

“Well, yes, I guess...but you don’t have to say yes now.”

”But why are you doing this?” Napangiti si Celine. Ngayon, napaluha siya hindi dahil sa lungkot, kundi sa sobrang saya.

“Because I love you, Celine. I guess I’ve been in love with you ever since I knew you...I just didn’t know how to deal with it.” Evan looked at her and wiped the tears from her cheeks. “Hey, no more tears. Okay? Come on, let me hug you. It’ll make you feel better.”

“But I look awful, I-“

“Do you think that it matters to me?” Ngumiti muna ito at bigla ang ginawang pagyakap kay Celine.

For Celine, it feels like heaven. It was like she was born for his embrace. Niyakap niya ito, at hinayaan ang sariling makulong sa malaki nitong mga bisig. Being in his arms is probably the best thing that happened to her. It is something that she needed, right at that very moment. She must have done something right in her past life to deserve someone like Evan. He’s her dream and her reality.

“I love you, Celine. I’ll just be here, okay? I’ll wait for your heart to mend...no matter how long it takes.”

Oh well, he doesn’t need to wait very long, does he?

End

Well, it isn’t really THE end. It’s only the beginning of something beautiful.

~~

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