10PM, In a condominium somewhere in Makati:
I took a deep breath before I pushed the doorbell.
My heart was pounding and sobrang pinapawisan ako.
I pushed the doorbell again.
I heard running noise from behind the door.
Even though for some reason he was wearing dark shades indoors in the middle of the night, I could see from his face that he was surprised it was me.
I couldn't see if he was angry, though. Di ko makita ang mga mata niya. Pero walang ngiti sa mukha niya.
"Hi," sabi ko. Kabado.
"Hi," sabi niya. Hindi pa rin nakangiti.
Naiilang ako na hindi ko makita ang mata niya pero di ko naman yata kayang sabihin sa kaniya na tanggalin niya yung shades niya, so ang sinabi ko:
"How are you?"
Nag-kibit balikat siya, "I've been better."
Hindi pa rin siya ngumingiti, at di pa rin niya ako inaalok pumasok.
Sabi ng mother ko, kapag di mo na alam kung anung sasabihin mo, wag ka na lang magsalita.
"You may regret your words, but you will seldom regret your silence," she advised me.
So since wala na akong maisip sabihin, tahimik lang ako na nakatayo sa harap ng condo ni Pasha.
I'm sure it only took a few seconds pero it seemed like an eternity before he acknowledged me again.
He sighed, "What do you want, Buquir?"
"I want to talk to you."
Wala akong masabi. Parang may kung anung bato ang nakaharang sa lalamunan ko.
I felt so bad during that moment. Naiiyak na nga ako eh.
I guess nahalata ni Pasha.
He sighed again, "You might as well come in."
I breathed a sigh of relief.
I went in and sat on his green leather sofa.
"You want anything to drink?" he asked.
"Tubig lang," sagot ko.
He left to get me some water and I took stock of his place.
Nagkalat pa rin ang mga paintings niya sa paligid. Abstract. Di ko ma-gets ang meaning pero magaganda.
Sa pinaka-center wall ng living room niya, merong nude painting niya. Very realistic. Very sexy.
I tried not to stare at it too long.
Bumalik siya after a moment, may dalang isang baso ng iced water.
"Thanks," sabi ko.
Naupo siya sa kaharap na sofa. Nakatingin lang sa akin. Suot pa rin ang dark shades.
"Bakit ka naka-shades?" tanong ko.
"Feel ko lang," sagot niya, walang expression sa mukha.
I nodded, "So, kamusta ka na?"
"You already asked me that," sagot niya.
"Oo nga pala," sabi ko.
Tahimik kami ulit. Nakakabingi.
Di ko na kaya.
Huminga ako ng malalim.
"Nothing happened between me and Schoolboi," sabi ko dire-diretso.
"You kissed," sagot niya agad.
"It was only a kiss," I reasoned.
"It's never just a kiss," balik niya sa akin.
"It was in this case," sagot ko.
"You honestly expect me to believe that you two didn't..." simula niya.
"We didn't," singit ko, "Aaminin ko, I wanted to. I really really wanted to."
"So why didn't you?" he asked.
"Si Roman," sagot ko.
"Bullshit," sagot niya.
Nakatingin lang ako sa kaniya.
"Roman doesn't love you," sagot niya.
"Not the way I love him, yes, I know," sabi ko, medyo galit, "What's your point?"
"Schoolboi likes you a lot," sabi ni Pasha, "Nung kami pa, lagi ka niyang bukambibig."
I didn't know that, so I didn't say anything.
"He has feelings for you," mahinang sabi ni Pasha.
"He likes me a lot," sagot ko agad, "Pero yun lang yun. Dyosko naman, Pasha, tignan mo nga ako at tignan mo ang sarili mo. Para akong PA nyong dalawa. To be honest, I think he was using me, not that I minded. He was trying to get from me the attention he craved from you everyday you two were together."
"He was never okay with the open-relationship thing between the both of you, you know," patuloy ko.
Nainis na ako.
"Pasha, you cannot possibly be insecure about me," tanong ko sa kaniya, "Or even jealous."
"Why not?" tanong niya.
Tinaas ko ang t-shirt ko, showing him my sobra-sa-laking tiyan.
Sa wakas, napatawa ko rin siya.
"Your brain more than makes up for it," sabi niya.
"That's something gorgeous people say to ugly people," sagot ko.
"You're not ugly, Buquir," sabi ni Pasha.
"I'm not you, either," sagot ko.
Tahimik siya for a moment, and then asked me, "You love Roman that much? So much na kaya mong tanggihan si Schoolboi?"
I smiled sadly, "Ganun talaga eh. Mahal ko yung mokong na yun. Pero don't worry, I'm slowly working on getting over him. I'd much rather that him and I remain friends. So for the meantime, I've cut-off all forms of communication with him para mawala siya sa isip ko at ma-over ako sa kaniya."
"Buquir, kilala kita," he said, "Matagal bago ka ma-over sa isang tao. It could take a year. Kaya mo ba siyang tiisin for a year?"
Uminom ako ng tubig bago sumagot, "If that's what it takes..."
He smiled at me, "Ask me again the first question you asked me when I opened the door kanina."
Inisip ko for a moment kung ano yun, and then asked, "How are you?"
He smiled, "I've missed you, bitch."
I smiled, naiiyak, "Na-miss din kita, slut."