"I'm giving in, I'm selling out to the pay, to the show.. This is my gimmick and I want to win it. I'm selling out, I won't fight you no more.." ~ Macy Gray
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“Arggh!”, Celine muttered under her breath, throwing her phone on their bed. It’s been sixteen days and every day she’s been dialing his number. It has been that long that she didn’t see nor hear a word from him. Her efforts of reaching Marcus were nil. The last thing she knew was he filed a leave and nobody knew where he was. The very thought of him disappearing like that was hurting her. She found it hard to conceal all the questions and the what-ifs about Marcus in her mind. Mahirap. And Celine had endured that kind of torture for the past month.
“Thirty five.”, Travis suddenly mumbled. Napatingin siya sa anak niyang nakadapa sa kama nila at may pinagkakaabalahan.
“What? Anu sabi mo, baby?”, she asked.
“Sabi ko Mimi, thirty five.”, giit nito na tila ba ay naistorbo sa ginagawa niya. She smiled.
“Thirty five?”, balik niyang tanong dito. Napakamot ang bata sa ulo niya. “Anung meron sa thirty five?”
“Thirty five times ka na nagdadial ng number niya. “Travis said nonchalantly. “Thirty five times mo nang tinatawagan si Daddy Marcus..”. Nanlaki ang mata ni Celine sa narinig. Binabantayan pala ng anak ang kada galaw nito kanina pa.
“Pano mo nalaman?”, she narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms habang papalapit ito sa anak niya. “And how sure are you na si Daddy Marcus mo nga tinatawagan ko abir?” Travis just smirked at her.
“Tinignan ko yung Dialled Numbers nung phone mo…”, pilosopong sagot nito as he sat up and faced her, then he stuck his tongue out.
“Ikaw talaga, Travis!”, bulaslas niya, wala siyang kawala sa batang tahimik na nagoobserba sa kanya kanina pa. Travis laughed at her. Imbis na magalit ay natawa nalang siya. Linapitan niya ito at inatake ng kiliti. “Chismoso ka!”
“Kanina ka pa kasi Mimi, you’re distracting me!”, Travis grumbled.
“Wow, distracting. Such a heavy word for a seven year old! Distracting, huh?”, she said and Travis nodded.
“Kasi I’m drawing, Mimi.”, Celine’s attention suddenly shifted to what her son was doing. He was drawing. And it’s only now that he saw how engrossed he was with it. She looked at it closely. A sketch pad.
Teka, I don’t remember buying him a sketchpad., she thought. She was caught up with work, with complications and with the real world that she has been brushing Travis aside for awhile.
“Drawing?”, Out of curiosity, she peeked into his sketch pad expecting to see a bunch of stick figures. “Since when?” Instead, she saw portraits of people with realistic-looking eyes, ears and mouths. Celine was impressed.
“Since Daddy Marcus gave me this sketch pad and sabi niya, I should put everything that I do every day and what I want to do.. in here… drawing ko daw lahat.”
“Hmmm matagal na Mimi… basta he comes here, right after school ko, dinadalhan niya ako ng pasalubong tapos maglalaro kami ng XBOX, then he’d help me sa homework ko pag meron. Pag wala naman nagbabasketball kami.”, he tells Celine. “Eto nga o, sketch pad ni Daddy Marcus, he leaves it with me..”
Celine opens the other sketch pad. There were dates inside; it was the days when he was with Travis. Under those dates, was written the kind of activity that they are doing for today. She randomly opened a page and stumbled upon a particular date.
|Kim Chiu||as Celine|
|Xian Lim||as Marcus|