Disclaimer: Please see part 1.
“Si Sarah yun di ba? Bakit nandito sya? Kasama ba sya dun sa movie? Akala ko si Angel ang leading lady.“
“Oo, sya yun. Huwag kang maingay, baka marinig ka. Nakita ko nung dumating sila kanina. Kasama nya family nya. Umiiyak yata.”
“Ano ka ba? San ka ba galing? Nakalimutan mo na ba yung sa kanila ni John Lloyd?”
“Eh, matagal na yun ah. Atsaka, naging sila pala.”
“Namundok ka ba? Hindi ba nakaka-abot ang balita dun sa bundok nyo?”
“Pasensya na. Loveteam lang ni Zaijian at Xyril ang sinusundan ko eh.”
“Halika na nga. Sabi sayo huwag ka maingay eh. Kwento ko na lang sayo dun.”
P.A.s. Sarah saw the taller girl drag the shorter one away. She’s been hearing a lot of those whispers ever since she left the van. Some people had been downright cruel with their words and they didn’t even care if she heard them. She couldn’t help it, she almost shouted in anger and frustration when someone “whispered” that maybe she wanted to use this new issue with John Lloyd for her next movie. Her older sister knew what she was about to do and grabbed her arm and pulled her away from that ugly woman. Praise God for sisters!
Left on her own, nursing a mug of coffee in her hands, she can’t help but remember everything that they went through together—the fights and the loving. Memories kept playing in her mind, rushing back like waves, rolling back and forth bringing with it powerful feelings that maim and revive. Emotions have always been explosive between them—it seems there was never any middle ground when it comes to the both of them.
“Just get out!”
“Please, makinig ka naman sa akin. Just listen to me. Hindi naman yun ang intention ko. I just didn’t want you to get hurt.”
“What? How dare you? Ang kapal naman ng mukha mong sabihin yan. Nagpapatawa ka ba? Anong alam mo sa pagiging sensitive? Kailan ka pa natutong makaramdam?”
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
“Sorry? Ha! Sorry saan? I don’t need your sorry. You’re a damn year too late for your sorry.”
“What do you think I should have done with the information? Magbingi-bingihan? Act as if I didn’t know?”
“Yes! Your silence would’ve served us both well.”
“My God, alam mo na ngang niloloko ka nung tao eh ipinagtatanggol mo pa rin sya.”
“Siguro sadista lang talaga ako. Baka talagang hilig ko lang ang pinapaasa sa wala. O baka naman ipinanganak lang talaga akong tanga o kaya’y bobo.”
“Stop it! Stop saying that!”
“Bakit? Why should I stop?”
“Please, just listen to me.”
“I don’t believe you. Hindi ko na kayang hayaan ang sarili kong maniwala pa sayo”
“He’s not worth it, Sarah. Believe what I told you and leave him.”
“My gosh! Who gave you the right to tell me what to do?”
“Akala ko kaibigan mo ko?”
“Naniniwala ka talaga dyan? Then why have you never treated me as yours?”
“No, hindi,– mahalaga ka sa akin.”
“Ha, ha! Is that another joke? Please, just stop meddling with my life. If I wanted to be made a fool of, it’s my decision. It’s my life. Whatever affection I may have had with you, it died the moment you lied to me.”
“Ok…ok, go ahead! I give up. Make a damn fool of yourself if you want to! See if I care!
“Well, no one asked you to!”
“Please, just listen…”
“No! Just get the hell out!”
The door to her dressing room slammed deafeningly, its sound reverberating on the walls and no sound can be more final.
That’s it, he’s gone.
She kept herself standing that time while she was having that shouting match with John Lloyd even though she wanted to just collapse somewhere dark and maybe die. She couldn’t stop herself from shaking though. It was just too strong to control. When she reached out to take the bunch of flowers he brought, intending to throw it into the nearest trash bin she could find, she noticed crescent shape wounds bleeding copiously in her right palm. She tried to rub off the drying blood but was just too weak to do anything but stare at it. When her sight suddenly blurred, her anger came back full force and, swiping her tears roughly away, hated herself even more for the weakness she found in herself.
“My God, please help me,” Sarah whispered helplessly.
“Hello? Tulog ka na ba?”
“Sabi ko kung natutulog ka na ba?”
“’Di pa…gising na gising pa nga ako eh.”
“Sige na nga, babay na.”
“Beh, huwag muna.”
“Anong tawag mo sakin?”
“Sabi ko Lloydie.”
“Hindi yun ang narinig ko.”
“Siguro ikaw ang natutulog kasi nananaginip ka na.”
“Hmmmn. So—ganyanan na ang usapan?”
“Ok, ok, sabi ko Beh. Nadulas lang po.”
“You mean hindi ka seryoso?”
“Bakit naman ako magagalit?”
“Eh wala ka naman kasing sinasabi tungkol dun eh.”
“I’ve been calling you every day, Sarah and madalas ako sa house nyo. What do you think that means?”
“Hindi ko alam. Depends on what you want me to think.”
“Hmmn. Do you want to know what it means?”
A longer silence this time.
“No, I mean, yes, I mean… ”
“Ano ba talaga?”
“Yes. Yes ang sagot ko.”
“Yes na kaagad?”
“Ibababa ko tong phone sige ka.”
“Sorry na, sorry na.”
“Hmmmn. Ano nga pinag-uusapan natin?”
“About…how much I love you?”
“Oh, my God.”
“Narinig mo ba ko?”
“I’m not sure.”
“It’s true. I tried to fight it because I don’t think I’m the best man for you. Problem is I know you are the best one for me.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“You don’t have to say anything. I know I’ve hurt you once before. You don’t have to love me back. Just say that you are willing to let me show you my love.”
“But…I love you, too.”
Silence. Someone’s sniffling in the background.
“Just call me Beh.”
“Beh. What happens now?”
“I want you in my life.”
“Pero natatakot ako.”
“Natatakot saan? I promise I’d rather die than hurt you again.”
“What about my family? They’ll try to discourage me.”
“Then I’ll talk to them—convince them that I’m serious.”
“No, please, promise me you won’t do that.”
“Bakit? Yun ang tamang gawin.”
“No. Ayoko. Let’s just wait first. Please?”
“I can’t understand. Ikinahihiya mo ba ako?”
“Hindi, Beh. Ayaw ko lang mawala ka ulit sa akin.”
“Ok Beh, we will do whatever you want.”
“Salamat din. I know I don’t deserve your love. Thank you for loving me again.”
“I never stopped.”
“I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
“Wala bang kiss?”
Those are sweet memories. Is it possible to miss someone this much? She will never forgive him if he leaves her now.
“Please be alright, Beh?”
Looking down at the mug of coffee that had been handed to her, she wondered if it’s Nescafe. Her contract says that she shouldn’t be seen drinking any competitor’s product. She doesn’t think this one counts though. It’s almost cold now. She only accepted it for its warmth.
She straightened and scanned the area again. It’s been almost an hour since they led her here to sit. She wanted to go to the cliff but they didn’t allow her. They said it’s still a 30-minute walk inside the dense thicket of trees and they had been trying to reduce the number of people they would allow to go there. Medics and rescuers were their priority. A helicopter is on stand-by a few meters away and a tent had been put up for the press.
She had been granted a small reprieve. Nobody is allowed to talk to her. Although she had the chance to talk to the still shocked director, she didn’t ask for any more details. She wouldn’t be able hold it up any longer if the images in her head became any more graphic. She’s sure the reporters had already gotten wind of the news that she’s there. Even TV Patrol asked if they could interview her. Her parents declined.
“Beh, nasan ka na?” she whispered imploringly. She thought she has spent all her tears but a few more of them slipped down her cheeks unrestrainedly.
A sudden shout was heard in the distance. Simultaneously, all the people who had been sitting down stood up to go to the man who was rushing towards them. Noise erupted from the press people’s tent, everyone rushing for the first scoop. She saw spotlights suddenly turned on and lights flashing from the right side of the camp.
Sarah was paralyzed. She was torn. For the life of her, she couldn’t get the strength to walk towards the man bringing the news. Is it good or bad? She feels as if her body would break into a thousand pieces if she even dared to breathe. She didn’t know what to do.
Someone mercifully took that decision out of her hands. She felt small hands grab her arm from behind pulling her towards the left and a woman talking to her with a soft but urgent voice, explaining things to her. It’s her mother.
“Mommy…” was the only word she could muster.
“Anak, halika na. Kailangan ka na dun sa helicopter,” her mom’s instruction was severe.
“Ano daw po…”
“Wala na tayong oras. Baka mapansin ng mga reporters na nandun na sila. Ikaw na lang hinihintay.”
Hastened by the urgency of the situation, Sarah picked up her scattered senses and raced towards the helicopter.
And then she saw him.
Seeing him lying there, very still, made her heart sick. She anxiously looked at his chest, wanting to see it move, demanding any proof that he is alive.
“Sarah…,”her eyes suddenly flew to his face when she heard his voice and, as soon as she saw his smile, her heart began to beat again.
“Beh,” she cried faintly, moving slowly towards him, unsure of how to approach him.
The people around him silently stepped away and gave them their privacy.
Concern filled Sarah’s heart as she surveyed the man lying in front of her. His hair all mussed up; face swollen and dirty, covered with bruises; clothes ripped and caking with mud. She reached out and touched his chest, sobbing her heart out now, unable to find the strength to stop.
“Beh, what happened to you?” She lovingly brushed his hair away with trembling fingers.
He was staring at her face, aware only of her presence. Seeing her hand resting on his chest, he took it and brought the finger adorned with the ring to his lips, kissing it tenderly. Carefully, he pulled out the necklace hidden in his shirt and allowed her to remove his own ring from it and place it on his finger.
“Stop crying na, Beh,” he said worriedly, seeing her tears flowing from her eyes uncontrollably. “Ok na naman ako eh.”
“Ikaw kasi, eh,” she answered unaffectedly, pouting and crying at the same time. She only had to stamp her feet to complete the picture.
He couldn’t help it, he chuckled.
“O, tumatawa ka pa,” her pouting now full blown. “Hindi mo kasi alam yung pinagdaanan ko habang nawawala ka e.” Then she stamped her feet, frustrated at him, making him laugh out loud—which was a mistake.
“Ouch!” he yelped, closing his eyes in pain, nursing the lower right side of his chest.
“Ano yun, Bebeh ko?” she worriedly looked at his face scrunched up in pain.
“They said two broken ribs,” He mumbled in agony.
“Anong gusto mo, Beh?” She was looking around for anyone who could help him. Mysteriously, everyone seemed to have vanished. They were safely hidden behind the helicopter.
Her eyes flew back to his now smiling face. She frowned, now suspicious if she’s just been had.
“I talked to your mom before you came. Sinabi mo na raw sa kanila,” he said quietly.
“I’m sorry for putting you through that…,” her eyes now looking down shamefacedly.
“No, no…,” he shook his head. “I love you and I would do anything for you.”
“No buts…just kiss me now before I completely expire.”
With that she swooped down towards him and tenderly touched his lips with hers, pouring her heart out in that one simple kiss.
She lifted her face a fraction of an inch to sweetly smile down at him and then purposely bent her head once again to give him a much deeper kiss filled with love. She couldn’t get enough of him, feeling his soft lips and the warmth of his breath on her face, smelling his scent, feeling the loud beating of his heart pressed to her own. It is true, he is alive. He’s back in her arms and she will no longer take their time together for granted.
“Ms. Sarah,” startled, she straightened up, cheeks blushing, and faced the uniformed man who looked like the head of the rescue team. He had been trying to catch their attention and it was the third time he called her name, “kailangan na po syang dalhin sa ospital,” he informed her, embarrassed.
“Pwede po bang sumama sa helicopter?”
“Family lang po ang pwede. Sorry po, yun po talaga policy namin eh,” he regretfully answered, not wanting to turn her down. It was obvious the two are in love.
Sheepishly, she lifted her left hand and showed him her ring. Astonished, he looked to John Lloyd for confirmation and saw for the first time a very injured man grinning back at him, his raised hand also gracing a gold band.
“Ah, eh…o sige po, sama na po kayo sa amin.” The man turned and hurriedly called his assistants, instructing them to lift the patient into the helicopter.
Sarah searched around her and found her family a few feet away, trying to keep the people at bay. She caught her mother’s eyes and smiled. “Thank you,” she mouthed, and after a quick wave, turned to the helicopter and was carefully helped up.
After the noise of the helicopter has left the camp, the group of people in the press people’s tent crowded at the same time around the Geronimo family, pushing their recorders and microphones in their faces. Questions suddenly flooded their senses.
“Nasaan po si Sarah?”
“Bakit po kayo pumunta dito?
“Ano pong relasyon ni Sarah kay John Lloyd.”
“May movie po ba silang ginagawa ngayon?”
At that, Divine raised both her hands to silence everyone.
“Isa lang po ang masasagot namin dyan…NO COMMENT.”