YOU’RE JUST 15, I AM 22

YOU’RE JUST 15, I AM 22
—read at your own risk—
“Come on, ‘Nix! Greet the child and give your present to her,” pinandilatan ako ni Mama at sinenyasan ako na lumapit sa babaeng nagcecelebrate ng birthday niya.
Bumuntong-hininga ako bago lumapit sa batang maaamong nakaupo. I heard that she’s turning fifteen. Too young.
The soft features of her face makes her look angelic. Her fatcheeks suits her. She looks adorable wearing her pink sleeveless gown that reaches her feet.
Nilahad ko ang box sa harap niya. Actually, I don’t have any idea what’s inside this box. Si Mama lang naman kasi ang may planong mag-bigay ng regalo.
“Happy Birthday…” I tried to recall her name in my mind. I tilted my head as I think about her name, “Yhurijane.”
She smiled softly. “Thank you. And it’s Yhurijade. Jade for short,” namamaos ang boses na sambit niya. Her eyes are twinkling as she opened the present I gave her.
Napatikhim ako nang makita kung anong laman no’n. Seriously? A necklace? Ah, Mama!
“Thank you for this. Hindi na sana kayo nag-abala pa,”
That was our first interaction since we moved here. Nang mamatay si Papa, hindi nakayanan ni Mama ang manatili sa bahay namin. Kaya naisipan niyang lumipat kami rito dahil dito nakatira ang matalik niyang kaibigan. Which is the mother of the girl, Jade.
She’s kind, thoughtful and…kind again. Sobrang bait na parang wala ka nang mapipintas dito kun’di ang kabaitan niya. I sometimes see her playing outside their house.
Hindi ko namalayan na sa kakapanood ko sa kaniya na naglalaro sa labas ng bahay nila mula sa bintana ay nakalimutan kong may inaasikaso pa pala ako.
I groaned when I realized what the hell I’ve been doing. Umiling ako at sinara ang bintana. Wake yourself up, Phoenix! Dahil sa ganitong pakiramdam ay sinubukan kong makipag-usap sa kaibigan kong si Nash. Tinawanan lang ako ng gago.
Habang patagal nang patagal, mas lalo lang yata akong nababaliw. Hindi lingid sa kaalaman ko ang paghanga niya sa akin. Everytime I’ll go out of the house, her hooded eyes will follow me wherever I’ll go. Pinipilit ko lang ang sarili kong ‘wag pansinin ‘yon. And everytime I caught her eyes staring at me, she’ll blush profusedly and avoid my visions.
She’s just 15 for fuck’s sake! She’s still young and immature.
I hate her. I hate how kind she is. Isang araw ay napadaan ako sa school nila. She’s being bullied yet she have no plans to defend herself. Nakakainis. And my heroic self got the best of me. At the back of my mind, I want the feeling of me protecting her. Gusto ko ako lang ang may karapatang ipagtanggol siya sa lahat.
“Bakit hindi mo ipaglaban ang sarili mo? Look! You are full of wounds and bruises yet you can’t even defend yourself?!” Gustong-gusto kong pagalitan pa siya lalo but her eyes started to tear up. I softened immediately.
Nakita ko lang naman siyang pinagtutulungan ng tatlong babae. Kung hindi pa ako dumating ay baka mas malala pa ang natamo niya rito. At ang mga lintik na mga estudyante naman doon ay hindi man lang nag-abalang umawat.
“S-Sabi kasi ni M-Mommy, ‘wag ko na l-lang daw silang….p-pansinin,” yumuko siya. I sighed and continued cleaning her wounds. Napangiwi siya nang makaramdam ng sakit kaya mas lalo akong nag-ingat sa pag-gamot ng sugat niya.
Nakakatakot. Nakakatakot na saktan siya. She looks fragile and weak. Natatakot nga rin akong hawakan siya, afraid to break her fragile body. Parang isang mahigpit na hawak ko lang sa kaniya ay mababasag na siya. Shit!
Hindi ko na alam. Hindi ko na alam kung tama pa ba ‘tong ginagawa ko.
“What’s this?” Nanlamig ang kamay ko. Of course, I know what this is! A red envelope with heart designs. I fucking know this well!
She bit her lower lip and bowed her head. “T-That’s for y-you.”
Nanginginig ang kamay ko pero pilit kong pinakalma ang sarili ko. Jade, please. Baby, you can’t like me this way. You’re still young. It’s probably just an infatuation.
I didn’t open the envelope. Because I’m already sure what’s inside.
“Tell me what’s on your little head, Yhurijade,” sambit ko. Gusto kong marinig mula sa bibig niya kaysa basahin ang binigay niya.
She closed her eyes. Afraid to stare at my eyes that long. “I like you. I like you so much. A-Ayos lang kung hindi rin ganito ang n-nararamdaman mo. G-Gusto ko lang…sabihin ang tunay na nararamdaman ko sayo dahil..sa tingin ko ay hindi ko na kaya pang i-itago. Please wait for me to grow up. Wait for me to reach my legal age. I’ll save..my everything for you,” nanginginig ang boses niya.
I filled my head...


with curses. Crap! Damn! Shit! Fuck! Gustong-gusto kong sabihin na our feelings we’re mutual but I..can’t.
Tumakbo siya paalis sa harap ko matapos sabihin ang mga katagang iyon.
Hindi ako makatulog. My mind is clouded with her words.
Wait for her to grow up? Sure, I can wait patiently for that.
Dumating ang araw na kinatatakutan ko.
We have to leave this town. We have to leave and go to New York because my grandparents wants me to handle our company there dahil nagsisimula na itong bumagsak. And unfortunately, we are staying there for good.
“Y-You’re leaving?!” She gasped in disbelief. I nodded.
My insides are slowly tearing up. I want to hold her more. I want to bring her with me. But I can’t be selfish. She’s probably just infatuated to me. She’s still young. She’ll met someone more than me. My jaw clenched just thinking of her with another man.
“But, how about me? I j-just confessed to you how much…I like you. Tapos aalis ka naman…” my eyes went wide when I heard her sobbed. Napaawang ang bibig ko habang pinapanood siyang umiiyak sa harapan ko.
Nahihirapan akong inabot ang mukha niya. Her tear drops fell like rain. Until her face was covered up with tears. Nanikip ang dibdib ko habang pinupunasan ang luha niya.
“You’re just fifteen, I am twenty two. I’m sorry but I just can’t wait for you….” Baby, if I only have a chance, I’ll wait for you ’til my hair went white. “You’ll find someone better than me…” please don’t search for other men. Stay inlove with me. “You’ll forget me someday,” Fuck, don’t forget me, please! “I’m sorry but our feelings aren’t mutual. I don’t love you the same way you love me,” Damn! I love you more than myself. I love you more than you love me.
Mas lalong lumakas ang pag-iyak niya. I so much wanted to hug her. To comfort her. Pero alam kong mas paaasahin ko lang siya pag gano’n ang ginawa ko.
I left the country with a heavy heart. Hindi ko man lang siya nasulyapan sa huling beses. I heard from her mother that she locked herself up from her room.
Nagsikap ako. 5 years without her, I focused myself in our business. I never even tried to date other girls even though my grandparents always set me up on blind dates. I never tried to contact her thinking that by just hearing her voice, I’ll probably go back to the Philppines right away. Tiniis ko ang lahat. Pinalago ko ulit ang kumpanya namin. Inayos ko lahat-lahat hanggang sa umunlad ulit kami.
I drank the whiskey until the last drop. Kumusta na kaya s’ya? She’s twenty years old this year. I smirked, thinking that she’s on her legal age now. But my smirk faded when I realized something. Does she still love me? Hinihintay n’ya ba ako? May pag-asa pa ba?
The moment I got the chance to take my leave in the company, I quickly packed my things. Uuwi ako ngayon sa Pilipinas.
Nang makarating ako, kahit pagod pa sa byahe ay nagtungo ako sa dating bayan namin.
My shoulders fell when I saw the old house. Wala na ang dating ingay nito. I tried to open their front door but no luck. Pagkatilikod ko ay narinig ko ang paghina ng isang makina.
Hindi ko na sana papansinin ngunit natigilan ako nang makita kung sino ang lumabas ng sasakyan.
Yhurijade.
Malaki ang ngiti niya pagbaba ng sasakyan. Her long hair danced in the wind. Kumunot ang noo ko nang makitang may kasama siyang lalaki. It was my bestfriend, Nash. Why are they together?
Nagkasalubong kami ng tingin. She frozed on her place. May sinabi siya kay Nash. Tiningnan ako ni Nash at nagbigay ng ngiti. Sumaludo siya bago nawala sa paningin ko.
“P-Phoenix…”
Pagod ko siyang tiningnan. “I came back, Jade. May pag-asa pa ba? A-Ako pa rin ba ang…mahal mo?” Nanginig ang bibig ko sa huling salita.
“‘Nix…”
Tumulo ang luha mula sa mata ko.
“Please tell me you s-still love me…please. Kahit konting pagmamahal lang, ayos na s-sakin…Pero kung wala na, handa a-akong m-maghintay,” hirap akong lumunok. Say it, baby.
Jade smiled sadly. She walked towards me hanggang sa makalapit siya.
Her soft palm wiped the tears from my face. Kumikinang ang mga mata niya habang nakatitig sa mga mata ko.
She gritted her teeth.
“I’m sorry, Phoenix. Please don’t wait for me. Don’t cry for me. I’m sorry but I am already married to your bestfriend, Nash.”
Her words stabbed my wounded heart.
I closed my eyes as I recall all my memories with her. I regret everything.
🖊 :: Reishi Manunulat (@reimix)
[ work_of_fiction ]




Share On Whatsapp

Leave a Reply




top