How will you know if it just a heat from your body? Like a never-ending burning. Like a flammable desire. A light in the darkness. Was that making any sense at all? Does a lust lasts longer? Like, you wanted more than to feel your bodies being one? That’s what I thought at the beginning until I finally felt..the anger.
The fire with passion turns into fire with revenge. I was burnt by my own desires. I didn’t see it coming. I wish, I was equipped. I wish, I was ready.
I was literally listening to my grunting--I gave up after the last punch at my training bag. A few panting, bullets of sweat contoured my upper body. I held on my punch bag and swallowed as I found my breath. My lips parted a bit to gasp for air. And unconsciously, I turned around and stared at my boxing ring. Heaving violently. Fists clenching and cloth wrapper stretching on my hands. I held on myself not to throw anything inside my gym. I once threw the dumbbells on the glass window--my neighbor is a lawyer and he reported me to the police immediately like I was some kind of a mad-wrecked crazy man. Fuck. I closed eyes and massage my temple.
I sighed deeply and unrolled the wrapper on my hands. There will always be a trace at any single part in my house. Like a burnt scar.
10 years ago.
After hours of finding a peaceful place, pinarada ko sa gilid ng kalsada ang luma kong sasakyan at saka pinatay ang makina. I opened the window, inayos ko ang salamin sa mata at nagpalingon-lingon sa labas. I sighed. Dito rin pala ako dadalhin ng walang-kwenta kong pagmamaneho--makalayo lang sa bahay. Away from my parents-especially from my dad. A successful Surgeon.
I closed the window. Pagod na sinandal ko ang ulo sa upuan. I closed my eyes and sigh even more deeply. I did it. I am now the biggest failure in the family. I dropped my medical course and I just told my Dad I wanted to be a pilot instead. He was so mad at me. Nanlilisik ang mga matang tinitingnan at dinuduro ako,
“Wala kang utang na loob! After all what I had done to you--nagawa mo pang mag-addict at ibagsak ang pagdo-doktor mo! Kahiya-hiya ka sa pamilya, William! I don’t raise a son like you! A failure! Ano’ng mapapala mo sa pagpapalipad ng eroplano? My parents died in a plane crash, then you have the nerve to be pilot?”
I scoffed. I smirked, habang inaalala ang mukha at reaksyon ng Dad. He got something unforgivable towards planes and pilots. He can never forgive how my grandparents died years ago. He tried to revive them but they didn’t make it. He thought, it was an idiot failure from the mechanical transportation more than the science that can’t longer revived his parents.
Sinong mag-iisip pa nang gano’n? Na para bang wala siyang karapatang magkamali? Even the pilots died in that tragic accidents. Or maybe, he just can accept the fact that his parents died on his hands--in his hospital.
I opened my eyes when I heard a soft knocks on the window. Nang makita ko siya ay isang nakakalokong ngisi ang binigay niya sa akin. Kunot-noo akong lumabas ng sasakyan, humakbang siya paatras para hindi matamaan ng pinto. She tucked both her hands in her beige colored coat and playfully tilted her head while examining me. Sumandal ako sa sasakyan at inalok sa kaniya ang isang lata ng beer, as usual she shook her head.
“I forgot to buy you a coffee, sorry.” I sarcastically apologized at her. She smirked at sumandal na rin sa tabi ko. Ininuman ko na ang inalok ko sa kaniya.
“What’s the problem?” Then she sighs.
I looked away and tried to gulp a big amount of my drinks just so I can feel it burning right in my throat. Now, this place was so quite.
“What’s your next plan after medical school?” Her next question like as if I answered the first one.
I parted my lips a bit--breathing heavily. Yumuko ako at tiningnan ang lata ng beer sa kamay habang umiiyak ang pawis ng lamig nito. “I don’t think I can be a pilot anymore--considering how my grandparents died,” I said almost inaudibly.
She raised her hand and held on my left arm. She warmly squeezed it that’s why I look at it.
“Who says you can’t be a pilot? Ofcourse you can!” She leaned a bit closer, “Remember, you’re a genius geek slash nerd at med school right? And no one really believes that you dropped out of bad grades but you dropped out because it was not your passion. You can always start again and get richer by using your brain and your...charm.” And she mockingly laughed at me.
Pinagmasdan ko siya at nahawa sa mahinhin niyang pagtawa. Alena will always be a fresh air to breathe. I met her at medical school. We became friends immediately not because she’s beautiful and sexy but ultimately because of the reason I was an outcast in that school. I wasn’t bullied, I just don’t have a guts to be friends with all of those geek scientists and hangout inside the smellish laboratory--exchanging of medical terms and reads thick books in the library. I didn’t say I can’t do that, I just get bored literally-yawning inside the classroom in the middle of the discussion but no one scolded me for doing that because my father own that freaking school beside his hospital. I don’t find it really cool, you know. And Alena, an aspiring Urologist was my only close friend in that institution. My Dad’s school and hospital was an institution in this region. I just..don’t have a passion to be doctor too. “I’m going to work at my friend’s hotel, soon. He offered me the job.”
Napanguso siyang nilingon ako. “Oh, nice! You can utilize your expertise of how to use a scalpel then,” She grin at me.
I released a pissed groan. “Now you’re making me think over and over again because of that! Thank you! You’re a reliable friend, Alena.”
Pinagtawanan niya ako ulit. “Biro lang! Napakaseryoso mo kasi,”
“Crazy.” I drink up my beer.
“But seriously, I will support you all the way, William. You know that.”
I gulped and look at her, she’s giving me her cutest smile again. “I know.” I assured her. “Where are you going to take your residency then?”
Her lips pouted, “Saan pa ba? Lalayo pa ba ko sa ospital ninyo? Besides, baka mas madalas pa kita makita ’pag do’n na ko sa ospital ninyo ’no!”
I smirked the thought, “Hindi na ako makakatapak sa ospital na ’yon, not unless I’d be the patient--”
“Oy, tumigil ka nga!” She was a bit disturbed, “Then, I should be your doctor, kaya tigilan mo na ’yang pag-iinom hangga’t bata ka pa. Sige ka,”
Pinanliitan ko siya ng mga mata pero sa huli at tinawanan ko na lang din. We both laughed. And for the mean time, I forgot the reason why I came here to her.
I STARTED working at Manila Palace Hotel when Alena started her recidency at Guillermo Sullivan III Hospital. Para hindi na rin ako pag-initan ng sariling ama ay humiwalay na ako ng tirahan. Madali na lang naman iyon dahil kumikita na ako sa hotel ni Dale Montejo. Aside from that, I have my friends who are actually making my life too easy.
In one year working as a General Manager, I earned too much for myself. Though, I paid much for my condo unit, still, madali na lang sa akin ang makaipon. After a year, my friends and I build our elite bar around Taguig City, Peyton. I didn’t have any hard days, months, even year to save a huge amount of money. Right after the successful run of the bar, I bought stocks. Again, I earned more than I expected so I bought another assets.
I bought my own airlines. I didn’t enrol to pursue what I wanted, I managed myself in running a business. I enjoyed it and I am successful in that field.
I am not stiff if that’s what are you thinking about my personal life. I don’t play around like what Quinn was doing. I was not a stalker like what Dale did. And I was not freaking crazy like Lennox has. I don’t date, I don’t engaged myself even in flings. I once called a good boy. Hindi rin ako marunong manligaw-like bringing flowers and chocolates. And I’m not even gay, fuck.
My first relationship lasted for one year--that was on high school. There were a few girls I girlfriend before I met Alena. If it is just a fate or what, I didn’t have any after that. I think Alena knew that though we never talk about it. Not until I met Jam July Nuñes. I admit, I was attracted at her and eventually I told that to Dale. Sinapak niya ako pagkatapos. I knew, it wasn’t love but if I didn’t consider our friendship, I’d fall for her eventually.
Pinuntahan ko si Alena para ikwento ang nangyari. Namutla siya at natahimik bigla. Sa simula ay nanibago ako, pero simulan niyang gamutin ang mukha ko ay nakalimutan ko na ang naging reaksyon niya sa sinabi ko. Nagpalamig muna ako bago kinausap ulit si Dale. Kasal at may anak na ay hindi pa rin niya ako kinausap ng ilang taon. There are changes in our lives but then whenever we need help, hindi pa rin namin nalilimutan ang pagkakaibigan namin. Nagtulong-tulong ulit kami nang magkaproblema si Lennox.
One night, I paid a visit to Alena’s office in the hospital. I brought her 6 cans of beer which I purposely did pero wrong timing yata ang mood niya nang puntahan ko siya. Instead, naglapag siya ng waiver sa harapan ko.
Kunot-noo ko siyang tiningnan. “What’s that?”
Deretso ang tinigin niya sa akin na para bang inuusig ako. “Sign it. I requested you to have urine and other laboratory test to make sure maayos pa kahit ’yang kidneys mo. I told you to stop drinking liquors, William.”
Natawa ako sa pagkaseryoso niya. “I’m fine, Alena. You don’t have to get worried about me,”
“Then prove it. Let’s have some tests.” Matigas niyang sabi na siyang nagpatigil sa akin. What’s wrong with her?
At para matigil na diskusyon ay pinirmahan ko na lang ang waiver at ang request forms. It’s just a test--I told myself. But, I never thought, that would the test that will change my life. I never imagined I would have it. And that would be the end of my everything.
I TASTED the last drop of my whiskey when I finally saw a one fine woman at the entrance of Peyton. I smirked when I scanned her outfit. A shimmering skinny jeans paired with off-shouldered white top and..a paired with sneakers? Damn her taste. Damn her milky skin neck for being too beautiful in my eyes. I really wanted to put a love bites on that..maybe later?
“’Di ba ’yan ’yung babaeng inuwi mo sa condo mo? She’s here again.”
Isang sulyap ang binigay ko kay Quinn bago ulit nanghingi ng isa pang baso sa bartender namin. “Siya nga.”
I heard his evilly smirked, “Ingat ka bro, kapatid ’yan ng ini-stalk ni Oliver. Malalagot ka du’n,”
I smirked. Nilagok ko kaagad ang bagong bigay sa aking whiskey at saka tumayo para salubungin ang babae. Pero nawala na ito sa bukana ng club.
“Andun na sa gitna, William!” Sabi sa akin ni Quinn.
I automatically scanned the dancefloor--I set my eyes at her dahil siya lang naman ang nakamaong na sobrang kintab at nakaputi but I automatically felt the burning on my chest when I saw some random guy dancing at her back and she seems really disturbed about the guy.
Tumawa sa likuran ko si Quinn. “Puntahan mo na, bago pa si Oliver ang kumuha d’yan.” Tudyo niya sa akin.
I saw darkness when he landed his filthy hands on her tiny waist, “Fuck!” I mumbled in bertween my sighs.
Nang makarating ako sa tabi niya ay mabilis ko siyang hinaklit at dinikit sa akin. She gasps, “Ay, kabayong-palaka! Ano ba--” Nakatingala sa akin pero tinitigan kong maigi ang lalaking pilit na humahawak sa kaniya.
“Fuck off.” I scowled at him. Umiling-iling pa ito bago tuluyang umalis.
“Teka nga, Kuya ano ba--bitiwan mo nga ako!” She wiggled he arms away from me. Lihim na naman akong napamura nang bahagyang bumaba ang blouse niya at nasilip ko ang strapless niyang bra.
Tinuro ko iyon, “You’re hanging your bra, pa’no kong tuluyang bumagsak ’yan?” I swear. The first time I saw her here, I wanted to strangle every man’s eyes when she wore a mini skirt dress showing her milky skin legs. A perfect legs.
Namilog ang mga mata niya sa akin at pinagkrus ang mga braso sa dibdib niya laban sa akin. “Hoy, mamang bastos ang bibig! ’Wag mong tingnan ang dibdib ko kundi isusumbong kita sa pulis! Kilala ko ang may-ari ng bar na ’to baka akala mo!”
I scoffed and look away, I brought my eyes back at her, “Hindi mo ko naaalala? Pinatulog pa kita sa condo ko,” I teased her. Dahil doon mas lalong namilog ang mga mata niya at naiwang nakabukas ang labi. I swallowed. The last time she did that, halos halikan ko siya pero nang malaman ko ang edad niya ay nanghina ako at pinigilan ang sarili.
“Now, you remember me.”
Nagbago ang reaksyon ng mukha niya. She didn’t say anything maliban sa walang katapusang pag-aayos sa blous. Again, I swallowed. At the sight of her body, I clenched my fist. Something in my body flared.
“Bastos! Walang-modo!” Sigaw niya sa akin dahil sa pagbabago nang mas maingay sa tugtog sa loob ng club.
I smirked. I followed her direction until she settled in her friend’s table. I stared at her for awhile. Nag-iinit ang mga mata ko sa babaeng iyon. I never felt like that towards other girls not until the first time I saw her. I knew she likes Oliver Montejo but I don’t care. Oliver likes her sister, then she should be mine. I want her. I want Paula Asher Palma.