I spent my entire life trying to reach my father's expectations. I've been doing so well in school but it is not enough. The day I left home is the day I promised to myself to live freely and do what makes me happy. Even if it turns out that my family lost me just like what they always say.
My life was plain, goal-oriented, planned, simple, and "normal". Ang excitements ko nararamdaman ko sa pagsusulat, sa pagbabasa, sa pagkukulong sa bahay, sa pakikipaghalobilo sa mga kaibigan ko na wala naman akong ibang kilala sa mundo, kundi sila lang.
3 years ago, my life turned upside down when I met this man, a very handsome man. He brought me to places I've never been before. He brought me to a world where I didn't even know it existed. He gave me happiness that I've never had before. He gave me love that is unconditional.
He was a great man but he's not perfect.
Everybody's not perfect.
He gave me comfort to something I didn't called my safe place. He gave me happiness and gave me sadness. He gave me peace and he gave me headaches. He gave me assurance and he gave me doubts.
He gave me the love and gave me the pain.
All the things that he gave me, my favorite was the memories. My favorite and at the same time the one that I despised the most because it hunts me.
PUMUNTA muna ako sa opisina ko at inilagay ang bag at ang bouquet bago ako umalis at pumunta sa conference room. Pagkapasok ko doon, I saw Ms. Bea standing in front. She's discussing and there are like 3 men inside. Nakatalikod ang mga bisita at si Ms. Bea lang ang nakaharap sa pintoan. She was a little surprised when she landed her eyes on me.
"Oh! The star has arrived!", she said looking at me. Napatingin sa akin ang tatlong lalaki.
Para akong nanglamig sa nakita ko. I saw familiar faces. Owen, Carl and the one that got away, 3 years ago. Napatigil din sila nang makita ako. Biglang sumakit ang dibdib ko at unti-unti akong nahihirapang huminga pero hindi ko pinahalata. I almost broke my fingers when they are forming into fists.
Damn, I want to strangle that neck. Ms. Bea approached me with a very big smile on her face. I tried to smile at her too. Hinawakan niya ako sa braso at hinila ako sa harap.
"This is Faith Alessa Layanza. The asset of this publishing house. She's one of the greatest authors in this generation. She published 20 books and it all became a worldwide phenomenon. She would be great to be your biographer right? What do you say, gentlemen?", she said. I looked at Ms. Bea with wide eyes. A what?! Biographer?!
"I don't do biographies, Bea", I said to her. She faced me.
"Well, you will now. This a big project, Faith. You, as the most popular author right now and this man is in the top list of the hottest engineer for this year. An amazing collaboration right? You two can benefit in this team-up!", she said. The hell I care if he's the hottest whatsoever! The hell I care if I benefit or not!
"I still didn't know about this and didn't agree with writing biographies. That's not my forte", I reminder her. She looked apologetically to the men and bowed a little.
"Excused us", she faced me and pulled me out of the conference room.
"Faith, you have to get this! This is a big project and people gonna love this! You are both trending on social media!", she exclaimed.
"I don't care! Ayoko. I'm not working with that man!", matigas kong sambit sa kanya. She glared at me.
"The company wants you to do it. Okay, we'll have a deal. If you'll agree to this, you'll have to travel to South Korea for free, company's paid", she said. I laughed sarcastically at her.
"Seriously? I can travel to South Korea with my money. Don't need a free treat", I said and she rolled her eyes.
"Okay! If you'll accept this, wala kang ibang gagawing trabaho kung 'di ito lang. At kapag natapos na ito, you'll have an office break for 3 months and a bonus twice of your salary for this year", she said. Well, that's a good offer though. But should I sacrifice myself for those offers? Tsk. No.
"Still...no", I firmly said. She glared at me.
"Yes! Yes, you'll accept this!", sigaw niya sa 'kin sabay hila papasok ulit ng conference room. Napatingin ulit ang sa amin ang tatlong lalaki. Nagtama pa ang tingin namin nong isa. Why can't I even mention his damn name?!
"She said yes", Bea said to them. I saw Owen and Carl faces lighten up. The man in blue long sleeves; rolled up to his elbows, black pants, and black shoes stood up.
"Let's make this official. Ms. Layanza, this is Eng. Archer Bryan De Castro the person behind the biography that you will be working on", sabi sa amin ni Ms. Bea.
I looked at the person standing in front of me. Pareho kaming nakatitig lang sa isa't isa. Walang gumagalaw, walang nagsasalita.
So ano ngayon? Sa lahat ng pwedeng makakatrabaho ko siya pa?
I was ready to drop this project in front of them when he offered his right hand for a handshake.
"Hi Ms. Layanza, let's work on this together", and then he smiled. He smiled like nothing happened between us.
That smile. That f*cking smile.
That smile ruined me. And now that he's back, I'll be ruining myself again.