“Ano B, okay ba tong suot ko?”
I say as I flatten out for the nth time the slight wrinkle in my left sleeve. We’re at our house and B just happens to be there to celebrate my mom’s birthday.“Matt, chill. Parang Presidente ng Pilipinas imemeet mo hindi girlfriend mo. What’s with you?” she looks at me, her eyebrow raised and then suddenly she snatched my tie. “Dude, you’re going on a date. Not for a job interview.”
Well it feels like it. I’ve been up the whole night, scared to death of what this might turn out. Technically, Katt and I didn’t break up. Still, I was about to get married with a girl who is one of my girlfriend’s closest friend!“Do you think Katt’s going to take me back?”
I hardly look at B’s eyes when I asked her. Alam ko namang nag 360 degrees ang ikot e.“Do you want me to answer your question directly or not?”
Hah. Buti hindi siya nagtanong kung gusto ko ng honest opinion niya. Before that’s always what she says when we ask her. Ngayon may nalalaman na pala siyang directly or indirectly. I let myself enjoy that small happy thought for a while, konti lang Matt, walang kasiguraduhan mamaya kung matutuwa ka o hindi.“Sige, not.”
I tell her.
She breathes in a huge amount of air and then sighed. “She’s starting to be her normal self with Ken.”
I let the thought sink in. Kahit noon naman alam ko kung ano na ang pwedeng mangyari. But I didn’t dwell on that, I remain hopeful in that .001 percent of what will happen if she waited. Umaasa ako. Pero tanga nalang siguro maghihintay pagkatapos ng ginawa ko.“Why Clarence of all people, Matt? Yun lang talaga question ko after all this. Alam mo naman ang consequences ng gagawin mo pero bakit si Clarence pa?”
B asks again. Seryoso. Bakit nga kasi si Clarence pa? Even I don't know the answer. T_T“Anong gusto mo ikaw?”
I regret having to sound so angry after saying that.“Wow. So ako pa sinisisi mo?”“B, it’s not like that...”
but she raises her hand, stopping me in mid sentence.“Matt matanda ka na. You can decide on your own. You can tell your mom what’s best for you. In the long run maiintindihan ka rin naman nun e. You don’t have to pull a Chuck Bass plan to get you out of your situation. Isipin mo nga, kung pinaglaban mo ba si Katt, do you think mangyayari to?”
And then she left without even hearing my answer.
A few minutes later, I arrived at their unit. I initially ring the door bell, Chad is the one who opened the door.“Seryoso kailangan kumatok?”“Shut up Francisco.”“What gives bakit naka neck tie?”“Dinner with Katt.”
The next thing I know he is almost crunched in the couch laughing. “Problema mo? Anong nakakatawa?”“Pare, do you usually hang out with Joash Lim?”“He’s everywhere. Lagi nakabuntot yun kay Clarence. Why? Friends na kayo?”“Konti nalang pareho na kayo ng haircut.”“Hooo! Bitter ka lang, mas maganda accent nun kesa sayo! Nasan ba si Katt?”“Ayun o!”
She gasped when she saw me. “Wait! Are we going somewhere fancy? Akala ko the usual!”
Katt is wearing, well, her usual loose tshirt, a pair of dark washed jeans and her everyday nude wedges. Her hair messily tide up in a bun with loose curls draping her face. It hurts everytime I see her like this, smiling. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the fact that she’s happy...
But then after what happened, shouldn’t she be feeling a little nervous too? Shouldn’t she be feeling a little worked up to meet me? Or was she hurt enough that she finally lets herself heal, without having to wait for me?
I look down as I subtly shake my head, Matt, what are you thinking? “A, no. I just had an internship interview. I didn’t had the time to change.”
“A. Siguro just loosen the tie? Or tanggalin mo nalang tapos hiram ka kay Chad or Ken ng sneakers.”“Ken’s here?”“Uhm. Dito siya nakatira Matt. Nagkaamnesia ka rin ba in the process of almost marrying an Elizal...”“Uhm Chad! Yung niluluto mo, sunog na.”
Katt says cutting him off. He looks apologetically at me and then rushed to the kitchen.“Tara?”
I merely nodded. As soon as she walks calmly beside me I am aware that it is only my heart that is beating uncontrollably in my chest.
It was a long drive to nowhere. Honestly, simula nung nakita ko siyang naka casual attire e wala na. HIndi ko na alam kung saan siya dadalhin.“You have any places you want to go?”
I ask stealing glances whenever I can just to see her expression.“I know you were about to take me somewhere fancy.”“Was I that obvious?”“Matt. I know you since you were like 6? 8? or 9? at alam ko kung saan mo dinadala si B kapag nagaaway kayo.”“Ganun na ba ako kapredictable?”
She didn’t answer, but she lets out a small laugh. “Si Ken ba hindi predictable kaya comfortable ka na sakanya?”
I can see her brows knitting together, forming one single line. Shoot, mali nanaman nasabi ko. T_T Way to go Matt. Akala ko ba Operation Get Katt to bakit parang Operation Drive Away Katt.“Hindi siya ang issue dito.”
she says calmly but I know she’s trying her hardest not to burst.“Kasali siya dito...”“Alam mo why don’t you just pull over please? Pagusapan na natin to dito. No more restaurants. Or take out nalang and drive somewhere where there’s only the two of us para hindi ka nandadamay ng kung sino sino.”
I feel my hands gripping hard on the steering wheel. Whatever hopes I have to getting her back vanished immediately into thin air. Great, Matt!
I ordered her favorite sushi and milk tea and drove her to the nearest park where there are only a few people who visit at this time of night.
She is silent. Sometimes I catch her staring out of the window while slowly chewing her food. Kilala ko si Katt, I know the meaning of her every move. I know the meaning of that slight movement she does when she feels like she needs to say something but don’t know how to say it.
I cleared my throat and decided to help her but then hesitated. Well Matt, you asked for this. B’s right. I am the one who chose this. Ang weird nga e. At that time, I thought marrying Clarence is the easiest way out of my mother’s grip. But I was wrong. I should’ve told her nothing can make me change my mind about Katt.
If there’s anyone else to blame to what happened, it should be me. Not Ken. He was just being a friend. I was the one who chose to momentarily let her go. I was stupid and selfish enough to actually think that she’s okay with it once I tell her the truth. Parang inisip ko na dapat nga matuwa pa siya dahil ginawa ko yun. -__-“May gusto ka bang sabihin?”
I ask. I wanted to sound confident but then my voice let out a certain shakiness, something that will subtly tell her that I know where this conversation is headed."I think this...."
she pauses and then she starts fiddling her straw, a gesture that gives me a hint what she's about to tell."isn't working out anymore."
See... that just bites. I know her too well.
I let out a small laugh to somehow bury the heavy cloud that is trying its way out of my throat. I feel my heart beats fast, each beat sending a different kind of pain in all parts of my body. Now I know why people complain that this shouldn’t be called a heartbreak.“Matt.”
she says again, I wanted so much to stop her from talking. One word and I’ll break but even I can’t bring myself to even look at her.“I decided to go with you because I wanted to officially end this. Our relationship. I don’t want this kind of love anymore. Pagod na ako. Pano pag may hinarap nanaman sayong bride prospect, I can't go on pretending it's okay for you to marry her even if you're doing it for me. I wanted you to fight for me, Matt. Without using anyone as an excuse. But you didn't. And I'm tired of hoping that someday you'd have the courage to go tell your mom that you love me. That's never going to happen.”
I can feel the sadness in her voice but that isn’t enough to assure me that there’s still hope.Long before I decided to marry Clarence I know I already lost her and now all that’s left are the memories I don’t even know if I want to remember.