Prelude

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Prelude

"Dude, where the fuck are you?" Levi's voice clamored from my phone's speaker.

Napahalakhak ako. "What, dude? Missing me already?"

May malokong ngisi sa mukha ko nang sumulyap sa side view mirror. I flicked the indicator before steering the wheel to turn left.

"Fuck you. Nilalamok na ako dito sa labas." reklamo nito at napatawa ako.

"And I should care because?"

"Gago ka talaga, Serrano. Ang sabi mo malapit ka na kaya syempre lumabas ako para hintayin ka!" iritadong sabi nito. He's really pissed. Mas lalo akong natawa.

"Malapit na nga ako. I'm just one block away." nakatawang sagot ko.

"Just step on the gas and hurry up, asshole." he grumbled before the other line went silent. I glanced at my phone mounted beside my steering wheel. The jackass ended the call.

I chuckled, lightly shaking my head at my friend's temper. I couldn't blame him for being pissed. I was late for nearly an hour.

I really didn't want to go out tonight. Gusto kong magpahinga dahil ramdam ko pa rin ang pagod mula sa training. Levi was being a pest, texting and calling me to come with him. I only agreed when I realized I haven't went out for nearly a month. That means I haven't gotten laid for a month, too.

True to his words, Levi was waiting for me at the club's entrance. Lukot niyang mukha ang sumalubong sa akin nang makalapit ako sa kanya. Mapang-asar na ngumisi ako. Umiling siya sa akin at minura ako bago kami pumasok sa loob.

Nauna si Levi sa paglalakad patungo sa isa sa mga VIP booths na malayo sa mga tao. May mga nakaupo na doon na hindi ko kakilala. That must be the popular band that Levi was talking about. Drummer ang pinsan niya sa bandang iyon kaya kilala niya ang ibang members. What's the name of the band again?

"Con!" tawag ni Levi nang malapit na kami sa booth. Con is the name of his cousin. Napalingon ito sa direksyon namin nang marinig ang pangalan niya.

Tinuro ako ni Levi kaya lumipat ang mga mata ni Con sa akin. Umangat ang mga kilay niya at tumayo mula sa couch para salubungin kami.

"I'll get us something to drink." paalam ni Levi sabay tapik sa balikat ko. Tumango na lang ako. Bago pa makalapit ang pinsan niya ay umalis na siya agad.

"You must be Zion Serrano." nakangiting sabi niya sabay abot ng kamay sa akin. "Conrad, dude, but just call me Con."

"It's nice to finally meet you, man." I grinned and firmly shook his hand. He released my hand and looked at the direction where Levi went. Pati ako ay napatingin din.

"Saan punta 'non?" tanong niya at ibinalik ang mga mata sa akin.

"Bar." simpleng sagot ko at tumango siya.

"Come on, let me introduce you to the guys." he gestured his head to towards the booth.

They were howling and laughing about something when Con called for their attention. Ipinakilala niya ako sa mga bandmates niya at ilang malapit na mga kaibigan. Con also mentioned their vocalist who went somewhere to take a call.

Pinaupo nila ako sa maluwag na couch at inabutan ng shot glass. They were drinking Captain Morgan. That's some serious shit right there.

Mabilis na nakabalik si Levi. Dala-dala niya ang dalawang rock glass na paniguradong may lamang Bourbon. He knows it's my go-to drink.

Malaki ang ngiti niya habang inaabot sa akin ang baso. He sat down at the space beside me, wiggling his eyebrows.

Kumunot ang noo ko at bahagyang napatawa. "What?"

"Saw a group of hot chicks near the bar. This night is gonna be fun." he flashed an evil smile. He looked like a sleazebag.

Umiling ako at ngumisi. I raised the glass of Bourbon and drank half of its contents. Naalis ang ngiti ni Levi nang ilibot ang mga mata sa couch.

"Hey, where's Axl?" kunot noong tanong niya. He's asking the other guys. Hindi ako. I don't even know who Axl is.

"Sa restroom ata. He's on the phone with his girlfriend." the band's bass guitarist, Jiro, said.

"He's still with Savion?" gulat na tanong ni Levi. Hindi ko alam ang pinag-uusapan nila kaya nanahimik na ako at uminom na lang.

Tumango si Jiro. "Yeah. Magto-two years na sila this month."

"May girlfriend pala si Axl? Sino si Savion?" tanong ng isa sa mga kaibigan nila. Hindi ko matandaan ang pangalan.

"Savion Fajardo. He's Axl's non-showbiz secret girlfriend." Ivo, another guy from the band, answered.

Sakto naman ang pag dating ng isang lalaki sa booth. Hawak-hawak nito ang phone at may ngiti sa labi.

"Damn, may girlfriend ka na pala, Axl." sabi nung isang lalaki sa bagong dating. So, this is the band's vocalist.

Nagulat si Axl sa sinabi nito pero napatawa din bago umupo malapit sa mga ka-banda niya. "Yes."

"And two years? She must be a real goddess to turn you into a one woman man." sabat nung isa.

Con shook his head and snorted. "One woman man, my ass."

Komportableng sumandal ako sa couch at sumimsim ng alak. Pinagpatuloy ko lang ang pakikinig sa usapan nila.

"Ano, Con? I'm loyal." Axl said with a laugh.

"Fucker. Is that why you fucked some girl back when you were still courting her?"

Well, shit.

Sumimangot si Axl. "That's two years ago, dude. I wasn't that serious with her then."

"What about Senna Manjarrez?" muling tanongni Con. Umangat naman ang kilay ko sa narinig. Senna?

Kumuyom ang panga ni Axl. Kita na sa mukha niya ang pagka-irita. "There's nothing going on between me and Senna."

"Really?" sarkastikong tanong ni Con.

"What's your deal, Con?"

"Senna texts you regularly. She always drops by whenever we're in the studio. Alam kong maganda si Savion, pero maganda rin si Senna. You've cheated on her before, it's possible that you'll do it again."

"I won't." matigas na sabi ni Axl.

I don't wanna listen to this shit any further. I'd rather hit on girls. Tinapik ko si Levi na seryosong nakikinig sa usapan ng dalawa. Nang lumingon siya sa akin ay tsaka lang ako nagsalita. "I'm just gonna hang out by the bar."

Levi shot me an apologetic look. He promised me a fun night and I ended up listening to this mess. I don't blame him though. Ngumisi na lang ako sa kanya at umalis na sa booth nang hindi nagpapaalam sa iba.

Senna may be my cousin but that's her business. Wala akong kinalaman sa kanila at wala rin akong balak mangialam. I don't need that kind of drama in my life.

If This Lasts (If This #2)Basahin ang storyang ito ng LIBRE!