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The Five-year Itch

KABANATA 1



"Hello, Love. I'm sorry, I can't make it to dinner tonight. May trouble sa Bulacan site, I am on my way there now. I'm not sure how long it will take."

Isang buntong-hininga ang pinakawalan ko. Narinig ko ang pagbusina at iritable nyang pagmura sa kung sino mang kamoteng driver sa kalsada na biglang huminto sa harap nya.

Hindi naman ito ang first time na hindi sya nakapunta sa dinner date namin dahil may emergency sa work. Most of the times, I understand. The only times I get mad at him for not making it to our dinner date is during times like these - anniversaries and special celebrations.

"Okay, Love. Ingat ka."

I tried to sound cheerful. I don't want him to worry about me now that his plate is full.

"Okay, Love. I'm so sorry. Babawi ako. I'll hung up na. I'm still driving."

The call ended after he said that. That's okay. I'd rather he focus on the road and not call/text and drive.

Babawi. Ilang beses na rin bang nasabi yon. Gasgas na. It doesn't even mean a thing to me anymore.

I slid my phone on the pocket of my apron. I looked at the table that I've set for dinner. I only need to lit the candles in the middle and I'm done. But that candle won't be burning tonight.

Hinubad ko ang apron, nagsalin ng red wine, at naglakad papunta sa swimming pool sa tapat lang ng dining area. May mga candles at petals of roses din akong nilagay dito. I was hoping for a steamy night, maybe a pool sex under the moonlight.

I laid on top of a sun lounger and looked up at the orange sky that's slowly being swallowed by darkness. One sip of wine and my mind wandered around.

How did we get here? How did I end up here?

Five years ago, I was not even thinking of settling down. Although fully healed from the wounds of my previous relationship, I wasn't thinking of future relationships. I said to myself, "kung single forever, okay lang. I'll just work my ass off to be the rich and travel places."

Totoo nga ang kasabihan, wag magsalita ng tapos.

I met Hendrick and fell deeply in love with him. We met in law school. He was already the COO of their construction company while I'm just an engineer trying to finish law school and become a lawyer. Now, well, we're both lawyers and he's now the CEO of their company. Meaning, there's just not enough time for him to do the things he need to do and no spare time for dates. Although we almost always see each other at home, here in our penthouse, he's just always pre-occupied and I respect his time.

Nilagok ko ang red wine na naiiwan at tumayo na.

I can't stay her for now. I can't be here moping around.

I checked the decorations that I prepared inside our penthouse condo as I passed by them, making sure no candles are lit to avoid a disaster. I closed the accordion glass-door-access to the pool from our living and dining area.

I looked bitterly at the cake that's sitting in the middle of the round table.

"Happy Singko, Love," I said to myself bitterly.

Five years and he still don't remember.

Ako talaga yong nagpe-prepare for our celebrations. Gumawa pa ko ng separate account na nakalogin sa both gadgets namin so he'll see the travel and dinner dates I planned and so he won't schedule other work-related things on those dates.

But this year, I tried a different approach. I did schedule it on our calendar on purpose. I want to surprise him. I cooked everything except for the cake, which I ordered from his favorite cake shop. And it turned out like this. Surprise!

Bawal magsayang ng pagkain, maraming nagugutom. Nilagay ko nalang muna sa ref ang cake. Pwede ko naman kaining mag-isa yon pagbalik ko. Di naman madaling masira ang cake. I'll just give the dinner meal sa mga guards and staff ng condo sa lobby para hindi masayang.

I sighed as I looked at the wall decorations of our living area. "Happy 5th." Ayusin ko na lang pagbalik yan.

I went straight to our bedroom and walk-in closet, pulled out a small travelling bag, packed clothes and essentials for two days.

6PM pa lang naman, meron pang last flight.

Booked a grab car while finishing up and preparing to leave.

"Ma'am andyan na po yong grab nyo." Bungad ni Kuya Ben. Isa sya sa mga guards pang gabi dito sa condo.

"Thank you, Kuya Ben. Ito pala po dinner. Iuwi nyo na lang po if hindi maubos."

Inabot ko kay Kuya Ben ang mga nakapacked na pagkain.

"Naku, salamat po, ma'am. Share ko nalang po sa mga kasama. Ingat po!"

Lumilipad ang isip ko habang lulan ng sasakyan papuntang airport. There's something about the busy lights of Manila that's calming. Kung pwede lang i-mute ang ingay sa paligid at magfocus sa mga iba't ibang ilaw sa paligid, mas masarap sa pakiramdam.

"Meron pa po bang flight to Puerto Princesa City na paalis today?"

"Meron po sa 9 p.m., ma'am."

Everything's a blur until the plane touched down.

I have a client here who owns a resort and had long been inviting me to come over.

"Atty. Ramirez, I'm glad you called." Bungad sakin ni Mrs. Garcia sabay beso-beso. Kinuha din ng driver nya ang luggage ko.

"Medyo malayo yong resort ha, mga 20mins pa na byahe from here, but I'm sure ma-e-enjoy mo since tahimik doon." Patuloy nya habang akay-akay ako papunta sa itim na van na service ng hotel-resort nya.

"Thank you, Mrs. Garcia. I'm sorry kung biglaan."

"Naku, wala yon. I'm glad you visited. Even my kids don't visit me anymore porke may kanya kanyang pamilya na. Ako na nga lang ang bumibisita sa kanila sa Manila para makita ang mga apo ko."

Nagpatuloy sa pagkuwento si Mrs. Garcia habang nasa byahe.

Last year, I helped her win a case against his abusive foreigner boyfriend. She's been a widow for ten years and tried to have a relationship with a foreigner who once stayed in her resort. Kahit na bayad naman na ang mga serbisyong naibigay ko sa kanya, she would call and offer me to visit her resort or to have coffee whenever she's in Manila. Nangungulila siguro sa mga anak samantalang nangungulila din ako sa pamilya.

Pagdating sa resort, I ate dinner with Mrs. Garcia. Kahit pa gusto kong magpahinga agad, I don't want to offend her and she looked like she's craving for companion and/or attention.

Around 11PM na ko nakapasok sa exclusive cottage suite na binigay sakin ni Mrs. Garcia.

Napaismid pa ko sa design na mga heart petals sa kama. Honeymoon suite pa ata to. She didn't ask pero siguro she's expecting na susunod si H dito. Napakilala ko na si H sa kanya nung minsang nag-aya syang mag-coffee and it so happens na we were out buying groceries that time kaya we invited her for dinner na lang that time.

Ito daw ang pinakatahimik na room sabi ni Mrs. Garcia. Medyo malayo nga sya sa ibang cottages and main hotel nila. I understand why. Kung honeymoon nga naman ang habol, well, mas magandang malayo sila para di marinig ng ibang guests ang ingay.

Mas lalo nga lang pumait ang pakiramdam ko.

My phone is on airplane mode. No one can call me. I also logged out of all messaging applications and social media accounts except Instagram. Buti na lang malakas naman ang WiFi dito so no prob...

About the Author :

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Joined: December 31, 2021 (21 days old)
Writings: 3
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Comments
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luciodemesa
December 31, 2021 (21 days ago)

Nice story to start 2022. Thanks. Happy New Year!

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lebron019
December 31, 2021 (21 days ago)

Nice story ganda simula sa new year author thank you sa pagshare 👌🏻

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Stibayan
January 1, 2022 (21 days ago)

Wow.. Detalyado at may feelings. Not only kantutan may kwento tlga. Thanks for this author. Follow na agad ako.

Write to express your feelings, entertain, appreciate, and influence. Don't just write because of the LIKES. Hold the emotions and let the words dance.

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patREKT
January 1, 2022 (21 days ago)

Aabangan ko to. Thanks idol!

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kaknidadi2
January 1, 2022 (21 days ago)

Its the best way to write and be the character to express you inner feelings,

if I don,t confess its not a sin. but lets make a deal

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bored_husband1
January 1, 2022 (21 days ago)

May kasunod pa ba ito?

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hesperus_random
January 1, 2022 (21 days ago)

meron po. not sure lang po kung kelan ko mapost

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temptress07
January 1, 2022 (21 days ago)

Well written. Thank you. :)

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Jopking10
January 1, 2022 (20 days ago)

Naysuu

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