“The end of “us” has come. There is no more US…”
From Jane’s email:
Before I give my preferred ending for me and X, I’d like you to know that I don’t want to change any events that happened in my past. No, that’s not how I’m gonna end things. The past has been a good foundation for me. Because without those events, I won’t be what I am right now. A tougher and stronger woman.
So yung ending na gusto ko ay napaka-wishful thinking talaga. Product ng mapaglaro kong imahinasyon, ika nga. The ending I have here and the others that will come are futuristic and fictional. Pwedeng mangyari, pwede ring hindi. Bahala na. I hope you enjoy and learned from my story with X. Here’s the ending now…
Year 2011. University of Santo Tomas Grand Stand. Paskuhan.
I can’t believe that I’ve managed to go here, I said to myself. And now that I’m here, I need to make my presence known to all friends who wish to know how’s it going with me.
I just finished making a grand appearance in my former org.’s office. Di ko na kilala ang bagong staff. Yet, they still gave me a warm welcome. I’ve said hello to former professors, the guidance counselors and most of all to my friend priest in the Campus Ministry.
Now, I’m bound to meet some friends. Sinu-sino kaya ang andito ngayon sa grandstand?
Haaay… nakakapagod din pala makipag-kamustahan. The fireworks were awesome. Nag-enjoy kami nang husto ng mga kasama ko. Pero, sobrang gabi na. We have to go home at hinihintay na kami sa bahay. Asan na ba yung mga kasama ko?
I was seating in a corner table at a nearby new coffee shop in P. Noval, “Cafe Pasta™,” waiting for some companions who went to a fast food for some take-outs. Looking outside, the whole university is all lit-up you won’t even think it’s already 10 in the evening. Very festive and far from its usual creepy appearance during school days. I took a sip of my coffee.
I was about to lose my patience when someone poked me from behind. I looked around and to my surprise, saw Audrey.
“Sabi ko na nga ba at si Jane ka. Kamusta ka na? Sinong kasama mo?”
It took me almost five seconds to recover and respond, “Eto ok naman. may hinihintay lang ako. Pauwi na kasi kami. Ikaw sino kasama mo?” I offered her tone of the vacant chairs in front of me and she sat down.
As if on cue, X appeared walking with a thin pretty girl behind Audrey. He smiled awkwardly while Audrey looked behind to check who just arrived.
“Ah, uhm… kasama ko pinsan ko, Jane. Si X saka gf nya, si Apple.”
“Hi Jane,” X greeted softly.
“Hi. Musta? Upo kayo.” I replied as I quickly swept a head to toe inspection on his girl. Well, at leat he still has a good taste. The girl is just about two years younger than me. Slim, shoulder-length straight hair, fair complexion with a very few freckles on the face. She’s wearing a white tee paired with a skinny jeans and heels. I noticed that she doesn’t seem comfortable with my presence. Maybe she knew me by name.
“Ok lang. Ikaw? Working pa rin?” he asked. Audrey transferred to the vacant chair beside me . X pulled a seat for Apple facing Audrey then he sat down facing me.
“Yup.” I said smugly as I raised my chin a bit. “Medyo busy nga eh. Ngayon lang nakapag-off. Well, I guess it goes with my work being the current country manager of a new online food delivery system here in the country. Ikaw, nurse ka na ba?”
There was a long pause. Then Audrey spoke.
“Di na yan tumuloy si X, Jane eh. He messed up big time kaya nag-work na lang siya”
I was to ask a few more questions when Apple tugged X’s shirt. He glanced at her and smiled. Then whispered something in her ear. She frowned, nodded then smiled.
“Jane, sensya na pero di kami pwedeng magtagal…” X started but was interrupted by Audrey.
“X, tignan mo yung painting dun oh… Ang ganda.”
All of us looked to the direction of the canvass. It was a modern EMO creation done in water color. A very impressive masterpiece overwhelming with emotions expressed in its vivid colors. Apple asked X to accompany him in having a closer look at the artwork. They excused themselves and went closer to it. Naiwan kaming dalawa ni Audrey sa table habang pinapanuod ang dalawa.
X seemed frozen as a statue as he was marveling at the painting. Apple poked him and was mumbling something to him but he doesn’t seem to notice. She glared and walked away. Audrey and I exchanged surprised looks. Then Audrey went to X and checked what had just happened.
Audrey was about to ask X about Apple when the painting caught her eye. She took a step and looked even closer. Her mouth hang open for a couple of seconds. When she recovered, she poked X and confirmed her assumption. X nodded.
Audrey left with X two minutes after. Audrey gave me a quick peck on the cheek and bid me goodbye. She didn’t ask or said anything anymore. X was still silent and couldn’t even look at my eyes. The painting must have gotten into his nerves, I thought.
As I continue waiting there at the table, I glanced again in the painting. A sensual yet brutal portrait of two lovers doing “it” with some abstract scenes in the background. The man in the portrait was flashing a devilish grin while the woman was wearing a painful look as she was embracing the man. What’s noticeable however in the painting is that, the woman’s hand embracing the man was holding a knife and was about to stab her partner’s back. There was also a nearly visible twinkle in her eves, very mysterious looking. While, her partner’s back was filled with writings. A poem to be exact, with a title, “Ai”.
I chuckled silently. I could still recall the time when an owner of this cafe asked my permission to use my poem for one of the paintings they’ll have commisioned for the shop. I was reluctant at first but when they told me how the painting would look like, I then agreed.
Well, I’m not sure what happened to X or Apple and I don’t give a damn anymore. Maybe they’ll be fine., maybe not. Either way, I just hope X finds a serious relationship. That he would be a better man. Someone very different from the jerk he used to be when we were still together. Past is past. I guess there’s nothing wrong if I wish for his happiness too.
And hopefully, my companions would arrive already. Oooops… I think here they are…