Kahit alam ko na may possibility na 'yon nga ang sabihin ni Sir Hideo ay natulala pa rin ako sa narinig ko.
Rin was my mother's sister, and that made her my aunt. That messed up my feelings toward her.
Naalala ko naman ang mga huling salitang binitiwan niya. She said she hated my parents but she knew Akemi never hated her. I really wanted to know more about my mother but this wouldn't be the right time.
I was so curious about Akemi's life when I first heard her name from Sir Hayate. He told me it was a cursed name and I thought she did something bad or something that couldn't be speak of. Ngayon, naiintindihan ko na.
She had been labeled as a curse because of her origin. Because she was a Shinigami, and she was supposed to lead them. Pero kahit Shinigami siya, mas pinili niya pa ring mag-stay kasama ng mga Senshin. For me, she's a hero. She's a great woman, a great friend, a great wife, and a great mother.
Bigla ko namang nakitang ngumiti si Sir Hideo sa akin at doon ko na-realize na binabasa niya ang isip ko. At alam kong kahit anong gawin kong pagsara rito ay mababasa at mababasa niya pa rin ito. After all, he's the president of this school—the strongest Senshin in this place. Reading the mind of someone like me should be easy for him.
"Your mother loved you so much."
Napalunok ako at pinigilan ko ang luhang nagbabadyang tumulo sa mga mata ko. Kahit na hindi niya sabihin ay alam ko at nararamdaman ko 'yon.
She gave up her life for me. That's the greatest thing a mother could do for her child. But it hurt me that I couldn't even imagine her face and personality. Bukod kasi sa pagiging isa sa Great Seven ay hindi na siya nabanggit sa mga libro.
"We should go back," sabi ni Sir Hideo habang nakaalalay pa rin siya sa akin.
"Paano po si Rin?"
Kahit na umabot sa sukdulan ang galit ko sa kanya ay ayaw ko pa ring makita siya sa ganitong estado. Ayokong iwan na lang basta-basta rito yung katawan niya.
"Someone will recover her body."
Bigla ko namang naalala ang sinabi ni Rin kanina nang makita ko ang mga mata niya.
"You won't get our eyes."
Hindi ko alam kung anong meron sa mata niya at ayaw niyang makuha 'yon ng iba pero ayaw ko nang magtanong ngayon. Ayoko munang madagdagan pa ang mga nalaman ko sa ngayon dahil feeling ko ay sasabog na ang utak ko.
Inalalayan ko si Sir Hideo sa paglalakad dahil sa lagay ng katawan niya. He was covered with cuts and some were deep and nasty. Tahimik lang kaming naglalakad pabalik sa lugar kung nasaan sina Mama kaya naman naging weird ang pakiramdam ko.
Bigla kong naalala ang unang beses naming pagkikita. I was browsing the huge book in the library where the Great Seven names were listed when he suddenly appeared. He told me she was the last Akemi and he asked me if I believed her name was cursed. Umiling ako no'n at nakita ko ang pagngiti niya. I felt something strange that time. It turned out he was my father.
Maybe he already knew I was his daughter that time and he introduced me to my mother without me realizing that.
Napatingin naman ako sa kanya. Gusto ko siyang tawaging Papa pero pakiramdam ko magiging awkward. At hindi pa naman talaga tuluyang nagsisink-in sa utak ko lahat ng sinabi niya kaya lalong mas nakakahiya.
Nakarating kami sa lugar kung saan namin iniwan sina Mama at nawala ang bigat na dinadala ko sa loob ko nang makita ko si Darwin na nakangiti sa akin. Halos maiyak naman ako nang makita ko ang likod ni Mama habang nakaupo siya. Sobrang saya ko na makitang ayos na silang dalawa.
Pero hindi ko inaasahan na makitang ang katabi ni Mama ay si Sarah. She was badly wounded and she remained lying on the ground. Mama gave her a locket and when I saw her expression, she seemed vulnerable and she was on the verge of crying.
Dahan-dahan akong lumapit sa kanila pero napahinto ako nang makita ko ang picture sa loob ng locket na hawak niya.
"She told me to give this to you kapag nagkita tayo," sabi ni Mama. "Pero hindi ko 'yan magawang maibigay sa'yo noong nagkita tayo noong nakaraang buwan dahil bigla mo na lang akong sinugod sa bahay." Her eyes glistened with tears as she looked in the sky. "She never left you. She never betrayed you."
Pagkasabi no'n ni Mama ay tuluyan nang tumulo ang luha mula sa mga mata ni Sarah. She clutched the locket with her remaining strength and drew a shaky breath.
"You're more than just an apprentice to her, and you know that. She treated you as her younger sister. And when she made that choice, she needed to leave you, not because she wanted to but to protect you."
Napatingin ako sa locket at nakita ko ang dalawang babaeng magkayakap. The younger one had a brownish and wavy hair and she was smiling widely. I didn't know Sarah could smile genuinely like that. She was hugging an older girl and I gasped when I saw her face.
She looked just like me, and I knew it was Akemi. That was my mother when she was younger.
"I . . . I . . . know . . ." Sarah muttered and I suddenly felt bad for her. "I . . . I just want to be with her . . . but she left me . . . it felt like I was . . . betrayed . . ."
"You knew?" tanong naman ni Mama. "Bakit galit na galit ka pa rin sa kanya?"
"It's just . . . my excuse . . . I want to ahte her . . . but I can't . . . and I even hater her . . . daughter because she reminds me . . . of her . . ."
She coughed too much blood and I wanted to go near her but my feet couldn't move.
She broke into a smile, just like in that picture. "I . . . I . . . will see her . . . soon . . . I have to say . . . sorry . . . to her . . ."
"You don't need to," sagot ni Mama. "For her, you will always be her younger sister."
Muling tumulo ang mga luha sa mga mata ni Sarah at ang hirap niyang tingnan sa gano'ng sitwasyon.
"T-thank you for . . . giving this . . . to . . . me . . ."
Before she could clutch the locket, the life in her eyes vanished. Napatakip ako sa bibig ko para pigilan ang paghikbi habang ipinikit ni Mama ang mga mata ni Sarah.
Tumakbo ako papunta kay Mama at niyakap ko siya mula sa likuran na ikinagulat niya.
"Rainie . . ." she called and we both smiled at each other while holding back our tears. "So you already know the truth," sabay pisil niya sa kamay ko.
I missed her so much. The way she calls my name. The way she holds my hand. Her voice. Her warmth. Kahit hindi siya ang totoo kong nanay ay siya pa rin ang Mama ko.
"I'm sorry for hiding all of these to you. I'm sorry for—"
"Mama," tawag ko kaya napahinto siya. "You should go to him. I know how much you miss him."
Tuluyang tumulo ang mga luha ni Mama nang sabihin ko 'yon pero napatigil naman kami nang may narinig kaming kaluskos sa paligid. Pagtingin ko, lumitaw sina Ma'am Reina, Sir Hayate at Sir Hiroshi. They walked toward Sir Hideo and bowed.
"Sir, the war is over," Sir Hayate announced and the tensed shoulder of my father finally relaxed.
"Most of the Shinigamis were already subdued," dagdag ni Sir Hiroshi.
"Hindi pa po namin alam kung gaano katas ang casualties but we are looking into it," sabi naman ni Ma'am Reina.
Sir Hideo nodded and let out a heavy sigh. Ngayon ko lang naisip kung gaano kalaki ang responsibilidad na dinadala niya sa mga balikat niya bilang leader ng tribe namin.
"Hiroshi, send the signal," he ordered and Sir Hiroshi nodded.
The next thing I knew, there was already a hologram of Tantei High's crest in the sky for our allies inside the campus and forest to see.
Finally. The war was finally over.