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MICHELLE

I found myself walking my way to the entrance of the mall. Naiirita ako! I ditch my last class for Ricci tapos nag alibi pa ako kay Josh—sinabi kong masakit ang ulo ko at sa susunod nalang kami magdate.

"You're 5 minutes late." sabi niya while leaning against his black sleek car.

"Sorry naman po. Traffic po kasi palabas ng Taft and nagcommute lang po ako. Hassle po kasi eh noh, I ditched my class with Mr. Porter." sabi ko sa kanya and I heard him chuckle.

"Remember my rule." sabi niya at tinalikuran niya ako.

The nerve of this guy!

"I'll help you but you need to help me too kapag may kailangan ako."

"Tatayo ka nalang ba dyan?" he hissed. I shook my head at sumunod sa kanya.

"Can you walk faster?" Ricci said and I glared at him, "Respeto naman po sa maikli kong legs!" sigaw ko sa kanya at tumawa siya.

"Ay sorry naman. Hahahahaha! I have an idea..." he said and he intertwine his hands to mine.

"A-ano y-yan? Bitaw!" sabi ko while helplessly pulling my hand off pero masyadong mahigpit ang pagkakahawak niya sa akin.

"Baka may makita sa atin." I mumbles at tumago sa likod niya.

"You're worried because someone might see us and they'll think that you're cheating?" Ricci asked and I slowly nod my head.

"Bakit hindi ba?" he shot back and my eyes widened.

"Of course, NO!" sigaw ko sa kanya at tumawa na naman siya ng malakas.

"Small bean, wag kang matakot kung malalaman ng boyfriend mo lahat ng 'to. Doon naman din 'yun mapupunta diba? Magdududa siya tapos—ayun, magb-break kayo. Mission complete." paliwanag ni Ricci. He's right pero ayoko naman ng mabilisan.

Okay ang gulo ko.

Napailing nalang ako at tumahimik habang naglalakad kami ni Ricci sa loob ng mall. People are giving me weird stares habang naglalakad. They probably noticed Ricci with someone else that's why.

I stop my tracks at napatingin ako kay Ricci. We stopped right infront of Toy Kingdom. What are we doing here?

Binitawan ni Ricci ang kamay ko at sinundan ko siya papasok. We went to the boys' section of the store, he bend down to look at the toys below the racks.

My forehead creased in the sudden thought, may anak na ba 'to?

I can't seem remember na may iba pa siyang kapatid dahil si Prince lang ang alam kong kapatid niya.

Charot.

"You think Riley will like this one?" he asked while pointing a red box—it says Lego in the packaging though.

"Malay ko!" sagot ko sa kanya at sinamaan niya ako ng tingin. "Small bean," he groaned. I roll my eyes in annoyance at inilibot ang buong Toy Kingdom.I left him there, bahala siya dyan.

While walking, napatingin ako sa isang malaking toy car sa taas ko. It's a gorgeous sports car that comes with remote control. I want to reach it but its to high!

I'm a strong independent small bean kaya pilit akong tumatalon habang inaabot ang malaking box. I look around to see if may staff na malapit sa akin pero wala, I don't want to ask for anyone's help kaya tumatalon ako ng paulit-ulit kasi baka magkaroon ng himala at bigla akong lumipad para abutin yung laruan sa taas.

"Pinapahirapan mo sarili mo."

"Ay shokla!" napasigaw ako dahil biglang may nagsalita sa likuran ko. Lumingon ako at nakita ko si Ricci na nagpipigil ng tawa.

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