Disclaimer: All stories that you see in my fanfiction tab are just that–fiction. All events happening in these works are fictitious and are in no way meant to imply actual facts about the people portrayed. Any resemblance to real occurrences, past or present, is purely coincidental.
She sat down heavily in front of the mirror, her limbs filled with exhaustion. Absently pressing down on the spout of the make-up remover, she let the cold cream flow down her fingers and gingerly applied the lotion on her face. The eyes staring back at her were empty, devoid of any expression, but her brows were knitted with evident sadness, clear to anybody who would care to look.
Her heart tightened with grief and she couldn’t look at herself anymore. Even she couldn’t stand the image her face was reflecting, she just had to look away. Pushing away from the dresser, she stumbled towards her bed and roughly pushed her face into her pillow. Only then did she allow the sorrow to wash over her and only then, when she knew that no one could hear, that she submitted herself to the tears that she had been struggling to crush since the time she heard about the news.
“Hindi totoo yun,” she sobbed helplessly. “Hindi ko man lang pinayagan…”
Tears continued to wrack her small frame, quiet sobs passing through her moving lips. Regret and grief were fighting over her overwrought emotion, trying to stake claim on who has the greater command on her.
“Bakit ganun? Kasalanan ko ‘to,” becoming angry with the powerlessness of her situation, “pero bakit sya ang pinarusahan? Bakit hindi na lang ako.”
She didn’t believe it at first. She would’ve known the truth—her heart would have told her first. She even tried to call him on his cell phone but she just couldn’t seem to reach him. Nobody was answering.
“Nasan ka na? Please, parang awa mo na, tawagan mo naman ako,” she plead as if he was there beside her.
It was all over the news. John Lloyd couldn’t be found. He and Angel were filming their next movie in Tagaytay, in a remote location in a dense part of the woods immediately beside a cliff. It was supposed to be a romantic film with some action thrown in. In that shoot, he was supposed to be chasing Angel beside a sloping ravine riding his bike. They were to shoot at night. While filming that part, the director claims that the front wheel of John Lloyd’s bike suddenly burst and that rendered him helplessly unbalanced. His bike slipped and plunged in the chasm, with him still astride on its seat. He’s been gone for seven hours now and there’s still no sign of him. The ravine plunges 50 meters down. The director said it was almost 8 pm when they started shooting that scene and its only 3 am. It is pitch black down there he added. Daylight is still hours away. No chance of finding anybody down there without powerful lighting. Most of the machinery that would help them look for John Lloyd hasn’t even reached the site yet.
“I begged him not to do it. I asked him to let a professional do the stunts and he just wouldn’t listen.”
Suddenly deluged with fear, she was helpless to stop a loud moan from escaping her throat and with all the vile images crowding her mind, she was unable to stifle the grief that poured out from her. She cried as only a heartbroken would know how to do.
Suddenly loud knocks erupted from her door.
“Sarah? Anak? Anong nangyayari sayo? Buksan mo nga ito.” Her mother clamored followed by excited raps on her door. “Sarah, anong problema anak?”
Quiet now, temporarily diverted by the noise, Sarah contemplated what to do next. She knew that once she opened that door, confession is inevitable. She couldn’t hide it from them any longer. Once they see her face, they would know immediately what she has been hiding from them. It’s time.
Sarah stood up from the bed and tried to fix her face in front of the mirror, trying her best to put on even a semblance of normalcy. It’s time to face them, ready or not.
Her mother was standing behind the door flanked by her two sisters. Her father was standing behind them confused. All of them were wearing the same expression—fear.
She stepped forward, pulling the door close behind her. She walked silently towards the living room knowing that they would all follow her there. Pointing to the long sofa, Sarah directed her family to sit down while she took the lone arm chair facing them.
“Sarah, anak, narinig namin yung tungkol kay John Lloyd, pero hindi pa naman daw sigurado…”, suddenly her mother stopped talking and lowered her gaze to her wringing hands, her own tears not far behind. She too was not convinced by her own words.
Looking at her mother, Sarah knew what was running through her mind. John Lloyd had been a good friend to all of them, even to her mom. Nobody knew what really happened when she was in her rebellious stage and hid her relationship with “that” boy. Nobody knew that it was John Lloyd who warned her mother to be careful around that double-faced boy. He accidentally heard him telling another common friend about their plan to use Sarah to boost his career. He went straight to her mom and carefully told her what he knew, pledging his support if they intended to lie about the whole thing. That was also the reason why Sarah fought with him. She was so angry when she found out that John Lloyd was the one who warned her mother, not so much because he was interfering with her life but because he was the one who caught her in her own stupidity. Back then she thought she could hide the truth, but she discovered that she was the only one who believed her lie.
Those things happened three years ago and her mother would always be grateful to him. What would she feel now if she told her the truth?
Clearing her throat she started to talk to her family.
“Ma, Dad,” she paused and looked at her sisters, “may gusto akong sabihin sa inyo.”
Her fingers were shaking as she brushed her hair back from her face.
“Si–, si John Lloyd at ako,” my gosh, she couldn’t even say his name without breaking down. She covered her face with her hands, unable to look at their faces anymore.
“Si John Lloyd at ako,” she started again, talking behind her hands, “we got married last May.”
The room was quiet. She was expecting loud voices of accusations hurled towards her—but there was only silence. Unable to bear it anymore, she removed her hands from her face and looked at them. Surprisingly, she saw something she didn’t expect. They were looking at each other guiltily.
Suddenly it dawned on her.
“Alam nyo?” she asked accusingly. “Paano…”
Her mother glanced at her father for a moment and then she explained.
“Nilapitan kami ni John Lloyd nung unang linggo ng May. Sabi nya hindi daw sya mapalagay. Alam nya na magagalit ka kung sasabihin nya sa amin ang balak ninyo pero ayaw daw nyang mapasama ang loob namin if ever malaman namin ang katotohanan. Hindi daw yun ang tamang way para magsimula ng pamilya. Nagmakaawa sya na payagan kayo ituloy ang plano ninyo at huwag naming sabihin sa iyo na alam na namin. Lumuhod sya sa harapan namin ng daddy mo para hingin ang kamay mo.”
Sarah was shocked by the revelation unfolding before her. She thought she was holding a great secret but now she’s finding out that they had the greater one.
“Nangako sya na hindi ka nya pipigilan sa mga pangarap mo at handa syang maghintay kung kailan mo gugustuhin sabihin ang katotohanan tungkol sa iyong dalawa. Nakita namin kung gaano ka nya kamahal kaya…” her voice breaking suddenly, a few tears seeping out uncontrollably from her closed eyes, “pumayag kami sa kanya.” She wiped her tears away, looking every bit of her age for the first time in her life, and looked at her daughter with great compassion. “Nagkasundo kami ng daddy mo na wala kaming sasabihin sayo.”
Her mother was now staring at her, waiting for her to react or maybe explain her side of the story.
But she couldn’t do it, she couldn’t push the emotions back anymore, and started to cry again. She didn’t know if she should be relieved or angry because he went behind her back but, at least now she didn’t have to pretend anymore.
She suddenly remembered that it may be too late for that. It could be too late for both of them.
Her body bent forward and she collapsed in front of her mother, overcome with grief and shame. Her mother gathered her at once into her arms and embraced her tightly. No sound was coming from Sarah’s shaking body, tears gushing out from her closed eyes. “Shhh, anak, tahan na. Hwag ka mawalan ng pag-asa.” Divine is also unashamedly crying now, willing herself to absorb the grief that has taken hold of her daughter. “Anak na rin ang turing namin sa kan-ya. Mahal–mahal na—rin na-min sya,” she admitted brokenly.
“Mapapatawad—nyo – ba ako?” Sarah begged her mother.
“Oo naman. Mahal ka namin.”
“Mapapatawad kaya niya ako?” she whispered back. John Lloyd tried so hard to hide the sadness he was feeling about their situation and yet he never forced her to go public. He respected her dreams even to the expense of his own dreams. A month ago he tried to tell her if it was possible for them to reveal to her family the truth about them so that he didn’t have to hide her affection for her. She understood what he was trying to tell her but she acted as if she didn’t and simply laughed his suggestion off, and that was the last time they talked about that certain topic.
Another evil thought crawled inside her head eating at her. She lifted her face to look at her mother, devastation slowly creeping into her expression.
“Sa palagay mo, Ma, sinadya nyang tanggapin yung project na yun dahil sa sama ng loob nya sa akin?” Her voice filled with self-disgust, trembling with the accusations she is berating herself with. “Ako ba mismo ang nagtulak sa kanya sa bangin na yun?” her eyes filling with fresh tears.
“Sarah, tama na yan,” her mother’s voice hard with chastisement. “Sa palagay mo makakatulong yang ginagawa mo sa oras na ito?” She suddenly stood up and pulled Sarah along with her.
“Punasan mo yang mukha mo at magbihis ka. Pupunta tayo sa Tagaytay. Hangga’t wala ka pang bangkay na nakikita, wala ka pang karapatang magluksa.”
For the first time that night she was able to smile, albeit wanly. New hope started to fill her limbs and revive her spirits. She’s always envied her mother’s strength and she needed it now more than ever. She hugged her mother quickly and hurriedly went to her room followed by her two sisters. It will be their turn to talk to her later.
If only she knew then what she know now. Nothing else matters except him—the love of her life, her husband. She allowed that thought to warm her almost dead heart. He is mine and I am his. He alone matters, not her dreams of fame or international popularity. Now she understands that without him beside her to share in her success, none of those things matter. Now she knows that a life without him is no life at all.