Summer. As what millions of people would be doing, nagpaplano ang barkada ko ng mga bagay na gagawin namin for the summer. Busy silang lahat. They were laughing, throwing punchlines, and enjoying the fact that it was indeed summer time.
It has been a tradition for our group to go on out-of-town trips every summer and now, my friends are busy deciding where to spend the summer getaway. Pero ako, parang wala sa sarili.
"This would be a surely be a summer to remember." mahinang usal ko sa sarili.
"Hoy!" gulat sa akin ni Gina.
One of my closest friends. Laging nandyan yan para sa 'kin. Pareho kaming nasa fourth year college pero hindi kami magkaklase. She's taking up Business Administration samantalang ako, Performing Arts. We met through our school play where I starred as the main character. She admitted right then and there that she has a crush on me. Sa height niyang 5"7', I gotta say, she's a model waiting to be discovered. Sobrang ganda niya. Kaya nga andaming nagtataka kung bakit daw hindi ko sinunggaban kaagad nang magtapat itong may gusto sa akin. Ewan ko ba, but maybe everyone has his favorite cup of coffee, and she's just not my type.
"Hoy Al! Ano ka ba?! 'Di ka naman nagpaparticipate eh." nagtatampong sabi ni Gina.
"Ah, no, I'm listening. Something just popped in my head." sagot ko.
"It's Eric right?" tanong niya.
Just hearing his name would make my world go into slow motion.
ERIC Ang taong pinagkatiwalaan ko ng puso ko. That's right, he's my partner. PARTNER "slash" BOYFRIEND "slash" LOVER.
MARK ERIC MERCADO How do I even begin to describe the guy without being biased? For starters, we met . through Gina. They were already friends since high school.
THREE YEARS AGO
Kakatapos lang ng school play namin and together with the other actors, I was taking a rest backstage.
"Hi!" bati sa akin ng babae.
"Hey." baling ko naman.
"Umn, pwedeng makipagkilala?" tanong niya ulit sa akin
"Sure. Jonathan by the way. Jonathan Alfonz Imperial." kaswal kong tugon
"Oh I know who you are. First year student, performing arts, 18 years old, etcetera.." sagot niyang ikinagulat ko naman.
"Wow. Stalker much?" wala sa sariling sabi ko
"Damn! Me and my stupid mouth!" sigaw ng utak ko. I was expecting na magagalit siya but to my surprise tumawa pa ito.
"Hahaha! So the rumors ARE true. Suplado ka nga. I'm Gina by the way, Regina de Jose, and this is Eric, Mark Eric Mercado." pagpapakilala nito at sa kasama niyang noon ko lang din napansin. Iniabot niya ang kanyang kamay na tinanggap ko naman.
"So, you did your research Ms. de Jose, I'm impressed." sabi ko. This time, I smiled.
"Of course, because I want to know everything about the person who's going to be my next boyfriend." sabi niya na medyo ikinagulat ko.
"Well, I'm sorry to burst your bubble Gina, but I'm NOT interested. deretsahang sagot ko sa kanya.
"Eh gago pala to eh!" pasigaw na singit ni Eric
"Oh I see, I think Mr. Mercado here likes you Gina. Why not make him your ne boyfriend if you're so desperate. I'm sure he'd be more than willing to oblige. He's handsome in some angles anywat." sagot ko naman.
IN SOME ANGLES? That as an understatement. The guy was devastatingly handsome. His eyes alone are enough to make anyone drool. He has those dark green eyes na kapag tinitigan mo ay para kang mahihypnotize. Sa tantiya ko ay nasa 5"10' ang tangkad nito which made him a little taller than me sa height kong 5"8.5'. His shoulders ere broad and even though I couldn't see it, he probably has a fit body.
Even his messy hair looks great. It emphasized his nose, matangos. And his lips, may pagkamanipis. Hindi man siya kaputian, hindi rin naman siya maitim, may pagkamoreno siya which gave him a more manly appearance.
"What the!" si Eric
Hindi na natapos ang sasabihin pa ni Eric nang pigilan ito ni Gina.
"Eric, stop it. I would have said the same thing if someone told me the things I just said." pahayag ni Gina. Huminahon naman si Eric. "Anyway, I just wanna be friends, IF it's okay with you." patuloy nito.
"That's fine by me. But I don't think your friend here would be happy about it." sagot ko na ang tinutukoy ay si Eric.
"Sino ba naman ang taong gustong makipagkaibigan sa gagong katulad mo eh saksakan ka ng yabang!" nagmamaktol na sagot ni Eric na halatang pinipigil ang sariling huwag akong suntukin.
"Sabi nga nila, "IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE ME AT MY WORST, YOU DON'T DESERVE ME AT MY BEST." sagot ko naman. At bago pa makasagot ay pinutol ko na ang kung ano mang sasabihin ni Eric.
"Anyway, I need to go. It's been nice meeting you Gina, I wish I could say the same for your friend here, but I can't. See you around." iyon lang at umalis na ako.
NAPANSIN ko nalang na tumulo ang luha ko na nagpabalik naman sa akin sa kasalukuyan. Mabuti nalang at lampas mata na ang buhok ko kaya madali kong naitago ang mukha ko.
"Excuse me." nasabi ko at biglang tumayo at tinungo ang labas ng bahay ni Gina at doon ibinuhos and lahat ng sama ng loob.