Chapter Nine

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That cold and emotionless guy... Grant. I couldn't stop thinking about him that it gave me sleepless nights and a good amount of eye bags.

I just don't get him at all. He confuses me. We met by accident and another 'by chance' moment after that. And suddenly, he's everywhere... even in my damn mind.

He was a complete mystery to me. I wanted to ask him questions, starting with how he got my number, why is he ordering me around, why is he doing the things that he does, why did he come and rescue me the other night, and lastly... Why is he so damn cold?

"Fall," narinig ko ang boses ni Eli mula sa likod ko. Nilingon ko siya habang ipinapasok ang gitara sa loob ng gig back ko. Malalim ang simangot ni Eli at mukhang pasan ang daigdig sa itsura niya. "Can you fill in for Curt's gigs?"

Binalot ng pagkabigla ang mukha ko. "Ha? Bakit naman?"

"He'll be out of the country for a few months, para sa internship niya abroad. Since the crowd likes you, baka pwede na ikaw na lang rin?" nangingiusap ang mga mata ni Eli habang tinitingnan ako.

Pwede ko naman kunin ang gig na yon. Adding two hours to my night won't be a big deal but I don't want my passion to become an obligation. Ayos na ako sa oras ko. At isa pa, the excess hours could possibly irritate my throat.

"Baka masira ang vocal chords ko 'non." tumawa ako at umiling. "Sorry, Eli. I can help you find someone though?"

"No." she sighed. "Just trying my luck. But I actually have a cousin who's equally good... even better."

"Oh, ayun naman pala. Why not ask your cousin?"

"With that idiot?" Eli grimaced. "It won't be asking. I'd be begging."

Tumawa na lamang ako. Inabot sa akin ni Eli ang envelope na may laman ng pera ko para ngayong gabi. My friends already settled their bill at hinihintay na lang ako para makaalis na kami. Inilibot ko muna ang mga mata ko sa paligid. Nawala ang ngiti sa labi ko sa pagka-dismaya.

"Baba-i-ta! Tara na!" sigaw ni Maia at Noelle. Nag buntong hininga muna ako bago lumingon sa kanila at lumapit sa kanilang table. Tumayo sila nang makalapit ako. The three of them were looking at me with dubious eyes while the guys looked like they just wanted to leave the place.

"Why the long face?" tanong ni Rio na hindi ko nasagot dahil inunahan na ako ni Noelle.

"She's bummed because her boyfriend didn't watch her gig." ngumisi pa ito sa akin at bingiyan ko naman ito ng masasamang tingin.

"Grant's not my boyfriend." I mumbled under my breath.

"May binanggit ba akong Grant?" paulit-ulit na pinikit-pikit ni Noelle ang mga mata niya.

"Busted." sambit ni Maia at sinabayan ng tawa ni Rio.

I'm not stupid. Alam ko naman na kahit hindi ganoon ang naging sagot ko ay si Grant ang tinutukoy nila. He's the only guy who's been hovering lately anyway. At sa kanya lang naman nila ako inaasar.

Umirap na lang ako sa kanila. Nang lumingon ako sa loob ng Harlow sa pang huling beses ay napanguso na lang ako.

I haven't seen Grant for three days. I haven't heard from him too. May number naman na niya ako pero hindi ko siya magawang i-text o di kaya ay tawagan. Why would I text him anyway? It's not like I wanted to ask why he hasn't shown up. It's not like I wanted to know where he is and what he's doing... Hindi ko naman gusto malaman. Hindi talaga.

On Sunday, a notification from Grant's Instagram account popped in my phone's screen. I stopped from playing with my guitar and reached for the device. Halos nakalimutan ko na binuksan ko nga pala ang notification ko kay Grant. It makes my cyber stalking easier, but it's not like Grant posts often.

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