Chapter 15 : Lightning strikes

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           Grey,

           Hi, corny! It's been a while since I heard from you! To be exact, it's been three months since your last brief, non-committal, almost forced email.
           Are you still as busy as ever? Did the monster of films gobbled you up? Or your phone? Should I punish them? Or you? :D
           Anyway, our fashion show in London was a success. Mama Pearl was there. I was surprised when I saw her backstage with a bouquet. We had dinner after and she asked me when I would be going back to the country. And like always, I could not give her a clear answer.
          But lately, I'm thinking of going back. You've given me a lot of time.
          I think the time is right.
          Do you feel the same?
          I miss you, Gregory.

          Love,
          Noreen

Nakatitig si Grey sa email na nakabukas sa cellphone niya. It was sent late last night. It was the fifth time he read it. And every time, the words weighed heavily on his chest.

Nagkamali siya. Last night, he decided he would be strictly professional with Tonya. That's what he should do. That's what he's supposed to do. But morning came and all he could think about was to go to the gym and see her. At nang makita niyang naroon din si Shaun, the plan swiftly went out the drain.

"Immediately run to me. Like you always do."

Stupid. Bakit pa ba niya sinabi iyon? He even lied about a stylist. In a rush, he called for a stylist to meet Tonya and bought a wardrobe for her.

Inihilamos niya ang palad sa mukha. The stylist and the wardrobe that Tonya would see soon was a mockery of being strictly professional. Why couldn't he control himself more? Hindi 'yong para siyang batang nakikipag-agawan?

Yet even now, he was anxious that she was still out with Shaun.

Ano'ng oras ba ito–

"Nandito na po ako, Direk," nakangiting bungad ni Tonya sa opisina niya.

Napahinga siya nang maluwag.

"Yeah. You're here," mahinang sabi niya.

Kinuha nito ang panda mug sa kuwadradong mesa bago nawala uli sa silid. Sinubukan naman niyang ituon ang isip sa script at logs na hawak. Pagbalik nito ay may umuusok nang kape sa mug. Ibinaba nito sa tagiliran niya. The note for the day says: There is no remedy for love but to love more.

Nagtaas siya ng tingin dito. There were a lot of thoughts in his head–thoughts that he shouldn't be entertaining right now. But even his thoughts were beyond his control.

Why did he meet Tonya? Why meet her now? And why is she so hard to resist?

"Bakit, Direk?" may pag-aalala sa mukha ni Tonya. Malamang ay hindi makuha ang ekspresyon sa mukha niya. Hindi nakalista sa cheat sheet nito ang mood niyang iyon.

She has no idea how bothered he is by her presence.

"May problema ka ba?" tanong pa nito.

Kung hindi siya magsasalita, wala naman itong malalaman. He wanted so much to tell her he's bothered but he shouldn't.

Bumuntonghininga siya.

I think the time is right? Do you feel the same?

For six years he has been waiting for Noreen. He was sure then that she wanted her as a wife. Ngayon, naguguluhan na siya. Hindi niya alam ang isasagot sa tanong nito.

The Late Bloomer (Published under PSICOM)Tahanan ng mga kuwento. Tumuklas ngayon