uno: never look in stranger's eyes

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UNO:
Never Look In Stranger's Eyes

clara &
mattias

clara: naaalala ko pa noong una tayong nagkita.

tumingin si mattias sa kanya. sa pagkakataong 'yon na nasisilawan ng liwanag ng buwan ang mukha ni clara, hindi inaasahan ni mattias na may kakabig pa rin sa dibdib niya.

alam niyang maganda na ito, gustong gusto niya ang buhok ng babae na malambot kapag hinahaplos niya.

pero ngayon, mas lalo pa niyang nagugustuhan ang dalaga. nakakagulat na maaari pa pala niyang mahalin ito nang mas higit pa sa nararamdaman niya ngayon.

may dulo pa ba? parang hindi yata mapupuno ang puso niya. laging may espasyo para mas lalo pang mahulog kay clara.

clara: natahimik ka?

mattias: lagi na tayong manood sa mga bituin at buwan.

clara: hindi pu-pwede. hanggang alas nuwebe lamang ako, 'di ba? magagalit si tatay.

mattias: alam ko.

pero gusto niya pa rin. sinabi niya pa rin kahit alam niyang hindi pwede.

mattias: noong una tayong nagkita, naaalala ko rin.

inilihis niya ang usapan. pero hindi pa rin napakali si clara.

clara: naiinip ka na ba?

matagal bago nakasagot si mattias.

mattias: tatlong taon na, clara...

clara: akala ko ba kahit limang taon kakayanin mo?

mattias: kung wala si gustavo kaya ko!

natawa si clara.

clara: sabi ni nanay pinaglalaruan ka lang daw ni tatay. mas gusto ka naman ni itay kaysa kay gustav—

pinanlisikan siya ng mata ni mattias. tinawag na naman kasi niyang gustav si gustavo.

lumakas ang pagtawa niya.

mattias: hindi ko alam kung sino ang pinaglalaruan ng tatay mo. ako ba o si gustavo? malamang ako!

clara: itanong mo sa kanya. nagkakausap naman kayo.

mattias: at ikwinekwento niya sa'kin kung gaano niya kagusto si gustavo para sa'yo!

tumawa na naman si clara. ganito ang laging reaksyon niya kapag nasasama ang pangalan ni gustavo sa usapan nila. tatawa dahil sa panghihimutok nito.

clara: hindi naman ako papayag na iba ang ipapakasal sa'kin. kahit magulang ko pa ang nagsabi.

iyon lang ang kinailangan ni mattias para kumalma. nawala na ang takot sa dibdib niya.

_________

yssa &
jin

"for your information, 3 years ang relationship nila! like hell couples could be together that long today."

"i get it. i know sayang silang dalawa but hello? wala ng sparks. they couldn't love each other like before kaya ba't ipipilit pa?"

"huh? i though they broke up because of a third party?"

xandra and yssa turned their eyes on michelle.

"di ba? homer cheated with elise," michelle explained.

yssa rolled her eyes. "yes! but that's only because he doesn't love jessica anymore!" she groaned. "seriously guys? don't you watch with your brains inside your heads?"

xandra laughed. she always find yssa's sarcasm amusing. she loved that about her.

but michelle can't tolerate the insulting jokes of yssa, especially if it was directed to her. so she threw a piece of tissue toward her friend.

yssa dodged it then giggled. she's an expert in ruining michelle's mood or just about anyone. she feels a sense of fulfilment whenever she'd hit a nerve; she just like it a lot whenever she annoys someone.

"don't be such a crank, grandma." yssa continued teasing her friend.

michelle, who doesn't want to be taunt, sipped in her coffee instead.

it has been half an hour since they arrived in their favorite coffee shop. it is their routine every wednesday to meet here for brunch, since it is the only day their schedules coincide.

therefore, every wednesday the shop is filled with the girls' noise. the manager, crisostomo, as the girls liked to call him, cannot ban nor throw them out. xandra and her family are regular customers. and he's quite close to the couple.

eventually, crisostomo learned to appreciate the wildness of the three. he even tries to talk to them if he has the time. he also began looking forward to their presence every week.

"hello, lovelies," he greeted them when he finally has the time to chat.

"crisostomo!" xandra exclaimed with delight.

yssa and michelle smiled at him. "busy ah." michelle pointed out.

ybarra, his real name, scratched his nape. "nagkaproblema sa isang customer."

yssa grimaced. "hulaan ko, 30 something si ate 'no?"

ybarra chuckled. "yeah, i think so?"

she grinned at him. "mga stressed sa buhay mga nasa ganong age e. sixty percent sa kanila grumpy," she raised her finger, "tried and tested."

xandra shook her head. "super proven."

while they were busy chatting, jin and his gang were also busy talking— and it was about them.

"naalala ko na 'yung pangalan! xandra bro!"

"ay oo! siya nga 'yun tol."

"yung dalawa pa?" jin asked.

"di ko na kilala. si xandra lang nakilala ko," greg answered.

"hindi masyadong famous 'yung mga kasama niya. low profile yata," trainor concluded.

"hindi siya nanalo dun 'di ba? taga-ibang college 'yung nanalo?" dexter asked them.

"oo ata. sumablay sa q&a?" said jin.

this was their first time coming here. and when trainor realized pretty girls are frequent customers of this place, he promised to himself to come here often.

greg has a girlfriend so he's not available. dexter has his eyes on someone but his friends don't know her name yet. he doesn't want to share any of her personal information unless they are finally dating.

that leaves jin, who was already looking at one of them.

«»

yssa can feel someone staring at her. she looked around. her eyes landed at the culprit, she stared at him too, in an attempt to intimidate him, but he did not look away.

"hindi naman nakikinig 'yan si yssa sa kahit anong subject!"

when she heard her name, the staring game was over.

«»

the girl is brave, that's what he knows. he saw it in her eyes, the burning lights.

he smiled, clearly amused.

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