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I'm taking back everything I said. Hindi nagbago si Dad, siya pa din ang nasusunod sa mga desisyon lalo na sa mga mangyayari sa sarili naming buhay na magkapatid.

Pumayag siyang mag chef si Kuya. But part-time lang. He said Kuya should work in the office replacing my position as I am going to take over the CEO position.

And he wants me to marry someone I loathe so much! Arranged marriage? Fuck that crap. Saan ba siya nakabasa o nakapanood ng ganyan? I don't remember him reading novels or watching shows, he's always in front of those bullshit business paper works.

Magtataka ka kung saang basurahan niya napulot ang idea ng arranged marriage na 'yan. God! It's spinning my brain 180 degrees!

"Argh! What is this, Dad? Is this about doubling your riches again?!" I shouted in anger. Kanina pa nakauwi ang lahat ng bisita. My whole family is left here in the living room arguing about this senseless ideas they've implemented.

Kanina, I was forced to smile in front of many people as if gustong-gusto ko na ikasal sa lalakeng 'yun. As if gusto kong katabi ang lalakeng 'yun, when in fact I hate him so much.

Ibinagsak ni Dad ang tungkod niya. "This is not about riches, Princess Louella. We have enough riches. This is about your future, and he is the only trustworthy man who could help you in your life and who could help you in handling the business kapag wala na kami ng Mommy mo."

I shook my head in disbelief, "So I'm not trustworthy enough, Dad?"

Dad scowled at me. I'm not disrespecting him pero tinaasan ko lang din siya ng kilay.

"Of course, I trust you. But two is better than one. Kung dalawa kayo na mag ma-manage, you'd be more successful at magiging maganda ang buhay ng future na mga apo ko."

Masaydong futuristic si Dad kaya wala na akong mahanap na maisagot. Siguro dahil hindi din ako makapaniwala sa mga nangyayari at sa lahat ng mga sinasabi niya.

"Princess, it's for your own good. Your Dad knows that Seth is the best man for you."

I breathe harshly, "Best man for me? Mom! Hindi na ako bata, I know all too well what and who is the best for me."

"That's exactly what you said nang maging boyfriend mo ang pinsan ni Keeshia na si Bench. We told you that he's not the best for you. Pero ano ang sabi mo? Matanda ka na at alam mo ang ginagawa mo. Na alam mo na siya ang best para sa'yo. But what happened? Kung hindi pa siya nahuli ng Mom mo sa condo mo na may kasamang ibang babae at nagbitbit ng mga gamit para ibinenta sa kung saan, hindi ka magigising sa katotohanan." Dad calmly said.

"Magkaiba ang noon sa ngayon, Dad. Tulad ng sabi mo, I've woke up to reality. I've learned from my mistakes kaya this time, hindi ko na uulitin ang pagkakamaling 'yon."

"And that is the very reason why I'm making you marry Seth, para hindi ka na magkamali."

"Dad, no! Sa tingin mo ba hindi mali na ipakasal ako sa taong hindi ko naman mahal?"

Everyone was silenced for a moment. Mom was just looking anywhere. Nakahawak si kuya sa noo niya na para bang hindi na niya kinakaya ang nangyayari at ayaw nalang niyang makialam. Diyan naman siya magaling e, ang mang-iwan sa ere kapag ipit na siya. Tulad 'nung mga panahong iniipit siya sa mga responsibilidad sa company, iniwan niya ako. At iniwan din sa akin lahat ng obligasyon.

"You are going to marry Seth whether you like it or not. And that's final."

Tatayo na sana si Dad when I spoke, "All my life, sinunod ko ang gusto niyo. I studied business kahit hindi naman 'yun ang gusto ko. I worked in the company kahit na iba ang gusto kong trabaho. I stayed here kahit gusto kong maging independent."

I blinked my eyes to prevent my tears from falling.

"Kaya just for now, pwede bang sundin ko naman ang sarili ko? Pwede bang sundin ko kung ano ang ikasasaya ko? Pwede ban kahit ngayon lang... suwayin ko muna kayo?"

*

"Hey, my fiancèè's home."

"Tigil-tigilan mo 'ko, Galvez. Where is kuya?"

He shrugged.

"Aren't you going to let me in? Ang bastos mo!"

Lumabas siya sa condo niya at isinara ang pinto. He really won't let me in! I'm glaring at him hanggang sa namalayan ko nalang na na nakasandal na ako sa pinto ng condo niya while I was locked in between his arms.

"Nasa banyo pa ang kuya mo. Kapag pinapasok kita na tayong dalawa lang sa sala, baka may mangyaring hindi tama habang hindi pa tayo kinakasal. Ayaw mo naman nun, diba?"

Nagpipigil ako ng hininga dahil ang lapit-lapit ng mukha niya. It felt like if I breathe, bigla nalang siyang susunggab at kakainin ako.

"Bro! Wala pa ba kapatid ko?" I heard kuya shouted from inside.

Umayos ng tayo si Seth at hinila ako papunta sa tabi niya. He openned the door and I saw kuya knocking on Seth's room.

"Oh? San ka galing? I thought you're in your room."

"Wala. Sinundo ko lang sa baba ang kapatid mo na fiancee ko."

"Will you shut up with that fiancee thing?!"

"Psh." was all he said and walked to the kitchen.

"Kuyaaaaa! Ayoko na talaga! Maglalayas na ako!" I shouted nang mag-usap na kami ni Kuya.

"Ano? OA naman. Sundin mo nalang ang gusto ni Dad."

Nanlaki ang mata ko, "Kuya! Alam mo naman ang ganitong feeling diba? 'Yung mina-manipulate? Bakit ka pumapayag na ipakasal ako sa lalakeng hindi ko mahal? Ni hindi ko gusto!"

"Maka-react naman 'to. Akala mo naman gustong-gusto ko 'tong set up na 'to. Tss."

"H'wag kang sasabat! I'm not talking to you!" sigaw ko kay Seth na bigla nalang sumabat. Kaya ayoko sanang dito kami mag-usap ni Kuya e, may epal.

"Why? Hindi lang ikaw ang involve sa nakakagagong set up na 'to. Sa tingin mo ba gusto ko 'to?" he answered with his eyes raging in anger.

"Oh, really? So napapayag ka ng parents mo? Diba sabi mo hindi ka puppet ng mga magulang mo, ano 'to? Oh, tamaaaaa. Nagpapayaman ka."

He looked at me as if any time, masasaksak niya ako ng hawak niyang chopsticks. He didn't speak and just stood up, walked to door, went out and slammed it close.

Okay, fine. Mukhang ayaw niya din talaga. It was obvious na badtrip siya. Natural, he needs to stop his sexual activities once we get married. Ang arte. Jackpot na nga siya sa akin e.

Wait, what am I thinking? This is a critical situation. What are we supposed to do now?

"Kuya, ano nang gagawin namin? Can't you see, pareho naming ayaw 'to. Do you want your sister and your close friend to live miserbaly together, forever?"

My brother looked at me for a moment then switched his gaze to the magazine he's reading.

"Hindi naman. Pero diba maganda 'yun? My sister and my friend getting married. I will be the happiest uncle slash ninong." he casually said without even looking at me.

"Kuya! Nilason ka ba ni Daddy?"

He sighed and looked at me, "Look, you are going to marry each other and live together. Pero may nagsabi ba na forever? Princess, walang forever."

"Ay? Bitter? Hanggang ngayon, bitter?"

"Tigilan mo 'ko-"

"Pero kuyaaaaa, you need to help me." I begged.

He looked at me for a moment before he spoke, "Okay, I will help you. And do you know what I want you to do?"

I shook my head, "What?"

"Marry Seth."

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