NEVER KNEW I NEEDED

CHAPTER 13

 

“Sino naman kaya yun?” tanong niya as she stood up from bed to see who it is. She looked at the peephole and saw that it was her favorite person in the world.

“Maqui!” she squealed the moment her bestfriend entered her unit.

“Oh. Excited much, dear?” nakangiting sabi ni Maqui. They hugged each other at saka na naglakad papunta sa sofa. “How are you? May sinumbong sa akin si Sef ha.”

“Ha? Ano nanamang dinaldal ni bakla sayo?” she asked as she lays down.

“Weeeell. Sabi niya hindi ka daw pumapasok. What’s happening? You sick?” worried na tanong nito sa kanya.

“Yeah. Ewan ko ba Maq. Lagi akong nahihilo tapos parang something’s wrong with my tummy. And I feel nauseated ganyan.” Julie explained.

After she explained, she ran towards to the bathroom and vomitted pero wala naman lumalabas. Sinundan siya ni Maqui and asked her,

“Hey, ano okay ka lang ba? You want punta na lang tayo sa hospital?”

“Eh ayoko Maqui, natatakot ako eh.”

“Bakit ka matatakot? Yung totoo Julie Anne, may ginawa ka ba ha?” Pagtatakang tanong ni Maqui sa kanya.

“Eh alam mo naman na ayaw ko pumupunta don. Hay. Sige na, Maqui wag na lang. Please.” Paglalambing niya kay Maqui.

“Oo na, oo na.”

“Maq, will you please cook something for me? Yung favorite ko!”Sabi ni Julie na parang bata. “Sige na, please please Maqui.” She continued.

“Para kang naglilihi diyan, San Jose.” Nabiglang sabi ni Maqui.

“Hoy Frencheska, wag ka ngang magsalita ng ganyan diyan. Minsan lang maglambing sayo eh, tsaka I’m hungry na eh.”

“Sige na baby girl. I’ll go and check your kitchen, okay?”

“Yehey! Thanks Maqui!” Sabay halik sa bestfriend nito.

 

*****

Maqui cooked Julie’s favorite, pancakes with bacon and egg and orange juice. She called out for Julie, “Jules! Breakfast is ready!” After a minute di pa rin lumalabas si Julie. So Maqui went to her bedroom para tawagin ito, but she was shocked when she saw Julie na nasa sahig at walang malay. She called Frank immediately para masamahan siya sa hospital.

*****

Dinala nila sa emergency room si Julie and a doctor checked on her. Medyo kinakabahan si Maqui, dahil kanina pa siya nakakafeel na may something talaga kay Julie. Ayaw man niyang isipin pero mukhang alam na niya kung bakit.

“Kayo ba yung kasama ng pasyente?” Tanong ng doctor.

“Opo. I’m her bestfriend. What happened to her po?” Pag-aalala ni Maqui.

“She’s 2 weeks pregnant. And very delicate yung pagbubuntis niya.” Sabi ng doctor.

“Sinasabi na eh. Nako, Julie Anne. Lagot ka talaga sakin.”

“Ililipat na muna namin siya sa isang private room. And please wag sana siya masyadong ma-stress. I’ll visit her there na lang for some reminders. Kung wala na kayong mga questions, I’ll go to my next client. Excuse me. Thank you.” Sabi ng doctor.

“Buntis si Julie, babe? May boyfriend ba siya? Or don’t tell me, tama yung naiisip kong tao?” Frank getting nervous.

Saktong dating naman ni Sef. “Girl, what happened to Julie? Okay na ba siya? OMG. Nag-cut akong class for her. What?”

“Sef, Julie is pregnant.” Maqui said calmly.

“HUWAAAAAT?! OHMYGOSH! OHMYGOSH!” nagpapanic na sabi ni Sef at umarte pa itong hinihimatay.

“Hoy bakla! Wag ka ngang umarte diyan!” sabi ni Maqui at saka pa ito sinampal sa pisngi.

“Ay masakit yun, Marie ha. Jombag betchiwariwap mo?” sabi ni Sef pagkatayo nito. “Eh kasi naman girl. Anyare? How’d she get pregnant?” nagkibit-balikat naman sina Maqui and Frank at saka tumingin sa natutulog na Julie. “Wait… Don’t tell me… OMG! Virgin Mary siya?! As in from Lord ang baby? I mean… Jesus Christ?!”

“Isa pa bakla ha?! Sasapakin na kita. Nag-aalala na nga ako dito umaariba ka pa diyan.” Iritang sabi ni Maqui.

“Joke lang po, manang. Makareactness naman over there. I was just trying to make you laugh. Yung wrinkles mo kasi mej showy tahday eh.” He replied. “Pero seryoso… Who’s the father?” tanong ni Sef.

“I think I have an idea. Pero I don’t want to conclude just yet…” si Frank ang nagsalita.

*****

The doctor visited her.

“Hi Julie! How are you?”

“Feeling better doc. Medyo I feel dizzy lang po. Ano po bang nangyayari sakin doc?”

“Normal lang yan Julie sa pagbubuntis mo, pero let me remind you, you’re not allowed to stress yourself too much ha, plus you have to take all the vitamins I have given, and please eat well.” The doctor explained to her.

“Po? Buntis ako?”Gulat na tanong ni Julie.

“Yes iha, hindi ba sinabi sayo ng mga friends mo?”

“No. Kayo na lang daw po ang antayin ko to know the truth.”

“Ah I see. 2 weeks pregnant ka Julie. And you’re condition is somehow delicate since it’s your first baby. Kaya lahat ng bilin ko sayo, wag mo kakalimutan ha? And don’t forget your follow-up check-ups okay?”

“I will doc. Thank you.”

“You can go home tomorrow.”

“Thank you again, doc.”

As her doctor bid goodbye, she turned to Maqui, “Maqui, bakit di mo sinabi sakin na buntis ako?” mangiyak-ngiyak na sabi ni Julie.

“Eh Julie kasi, gusto ko yung doctor talaga eh. Sa totoo lang, nagtatampo ako sayo kasi may hindi ka kinuwento sakin. Pero okay lang, ayoko ma-stress ka friend eh. Sige na, go rest na. Sasamahan kita sa condo mo bukas.” Maqui said calmly.

“Maqui, I’ll explain everything pag nakauwi na tayo. I’m sorry bestfriend.” Julie started to cry.

“Hey baby girl, don’t cry. Makakasama yan sa baby mo. Sabi ng doctor di ba don’t stress yourself. Okay lang ako, di ako galit.” She smiled.

 

*****

Si Sef at Maqui ang kasama pauwi ng condo ni Julie. Pinakiusapan ni Maqui si Frank to buy some fruits and milk sa grocery and also Julie’s vitamins.

“Oh Julie, go get some rest in your room.” Maqui said.

“Okay lang ako, Maqui. Hmm. Pwede ko ba kayong makausap ni Sef?”

“Ayan wild confessions ang peg ni Julieta. Ke-aga-aga pa. Jusmiyo marimar!”

“Ano ba, Jeg.” Paninita ni Maqui kay Sef.

“Sige,Julie. Basta wag mo masyadong istress yung sarili mo while telling us the whole story ha?”

“Ano ka ba, Maq. Okay lang ako.” She smiled.

“Okay… Here we go. Ayoko ng violent reactions ha. Patapusin niyo muna okay?” she continued.

Maqui and Sef nodded.

“Remember the last time we attended the frat party? Yung nawala ako bigla na ang sabi ko lang, kukuha akong water? I saw Elmo at the bar counter. He was so drunk that time, he even talked to me about his ex-girlfriend. So I joined him, thinking na he needs my company. Yeah, I admit medyo tipsy na ako that time. Then, he invited me to the dancefloor, then after that we ran away. Umuwi kami dito sa condo ko, and yeah we did that “thing” in my room, kaya may bloodstain kayong nakita. And after that naging awkward na kami sa isa’t isa. And sorry to tell you this again, pero naulit yon. Not once, but twice. Sa grad party niyo, Maq. Sinamahan niya ko sa kwarto niya para sumuka, then sa sobrang kalasingan ko Maqui, parang I let him take advantage of me. It happened in Elmo’s room’s cr. And then after that, in Elmo’s bed, but that time di na ko lasing, as in alam ko na we did that. Na I allowed him to do that to me. And di ako nagreregret na we did that eh. And nakalimutan ko na hindi pala ako safe. Sorry for lying to the both of you. I’m really really sorry.” Julie explained while she’s crying.

“Nakakashock, Julie. Pero inexpect ko kasi na yeah, may nangyari sa inyong dalawa. Kasi you two were getting weirder and weirder everytime na magkakasama tayo. But, hey stop crying. Nangyari na eh. Andito naman kami to support you on whatever decision you’ll make.” Maqui almost cried while saying those to Julie.

“Julieta, ganon kayo katindi ni Magalona? Grabe. Waley akiz masabi Julieta. Yang si Elmokong ay gravity!” Sef added na siya namang ikinatawa ng dalawang babae.

“Pero Julie, ano kayo ni Elmo? Paanoyung baby niyo?Anong balak mo?” Maq asked.

“Hmm. I don’t know, Maq. Masaya ako everytime we’re together and with my baby, I’ll continue this. Pero Maq and Sef can we please keep this as a secret? Please? Pretty please?” pakikiusap niya sa dalawa niyang kaibigan.

“Pero Julie, Frank knows that you’re pregnant, remember?”

“Maqui, ikaw na bahala kay Frank. Ayoko kasi, natatakot ako na paano kung di naman matatanggap ni Elmo yung baby namin. Tsaka feeling ko di pa siya ready with this kind of responsibility. And ni hindi ko nga alam kung kaya ba namin to na buo kasi dala ng kalasingan eh.”

“Ano ka ba Jules, diba sabi mo naman nung sa grad party, nung ginawa niyo yon hindi ka na lasing, and plus you forgot na di ka pala safe.”

“Naguguluhan ako Maqui, kaya please, wag na muna natin sabihin kay Moe. Promise sasabihin ko, ako mismo magsasabi. Sa right time.”

Sef and Maqui hugged Julie.

“Oh tama na ang crayola Julieta. Ako na lang muna ang magiging pudrakels ng iyong anakiz. Chararat! Hahaha.”

Tawang-tawa naman si Julie habang pinupunasan niya ang kanyang mga luha.

Biglang dating naman ni Frank, “Oh what’s with the drama, girls? Ay, di ka pala girl Sef. Feeling girl lang haha!”

“Hoy Frankenstein, wag kang gumanyan ganyan over there, yang kapatid mong demonyito ang may kasalanan ha!”

“Sef, ano ka ba. Di ba I said, di ako nagreregret with what had happened.” Pagtatanggol naman ni Julie kay Elmo.

“Sorry, Julie. Sorry for what Elmo did to you.”

“Okay lang, Frank. But can you please do me a favor? I know this gonna be hard for you. Maiipit ka samin. Pero please, don’t tell Elmo about my pregnancy. Please?”

“If that’s your decision Julie. Sige, hindi ko sasabihin.”

“Thanks, Frank” and she hugged him.

 

 

 

*****

Ilang araw na hindi nakikita ni Elmo si Julie sa school. Hindi naman siya umuuwi sa condo niya dahil sobrang busy with his plates. Masyadong mabilis kasi ang summer classes nila. Sakto namang nakasalubong niya si Sef na para bang nagmamadaling umuwi.

“Uy, Sef!” Tawag ni Elmo rito.

“Hello, Elmokong!”

“Bakit parang nagmamadali ka yata?” Elmo asked.

“Ah…eh kasi a-ano.”

“Uy, okay ka lang? Haha . Parang ngayon lang yata kita nakitang nag-stutter. Haha.” Pang-aasar naman ni Elmo.

“Eh kasi naman ang dami kong gagawin ngayon! Hay jusme ang beauty ko naglalagas na! Kajirits!” Pagrereklamo ni Sef.

“Haha. Ikaw talaga! Uh… by the way Sef, bakit parang di ko nakikita si Julie na pumapasok?”

“Isa pa yang babaitang yan sa stress ko! Jusmiyo marimar! May sakit kasi si Julieta eh. Doon nga ako matutulog sa kanila tonight, para makapagreview na rin ako and for her to catch up on some lessons.”

“Ha? She’s sick? Shit, Elmo! I am not even aware!” naiinis si Elmo sa sarili niya.

“Chill ka lang dyan, hoy. She’s feeling better na. Don’t have to worry.”

“Hmm, Sef pwede bang ako na lang ang pumunta don? Gusto ko sana na bumawi sa kanya eh. Tsaka para na rin makapagreview ka, and papaxerox ko na lang yung mga notes niya, then I’ll give it to her. Okay lang ba yon?”

“Wow. SuperElmo talaga ang peg mo. Ikaw ha, Magalona! Pero sige na nga, para naman makapagbeauty rest akiz. Pero paalala ko lang sayo na, magbebehave ka ha! Maysakit ang bff ko, wag kang loloko-loko ha!”

“Onaman, Sef.”

“Oh teka lang, Moks. Bilhan mo siya ng food ha. Nagsabi siya sakin na she wants ramen raw for dinner and ice cream too. Hep, strawberry flavor okay?”

“Bakit para namang naglilihi si Julie sa bilin niya sa food?” Halos magsalubong ang kilay ni Magalona nung tinanong niya si Sef.

“Eh may sakit nga siya eh, naglalambing nga kanina. Nakakadiri nga. Hahaha! Oh eto na yung mga notes ng classmate niya, sige na ipaxerox mo na yan and I’ll wait for you here okay?” Pagpapalusot ni Sef.

 

*****

Elmo bought ramen and strawberry flavored ice cream for Julie. Sobrang naeexcite na siya to see her. Sobrang miss niya kasi ang dalaga. Kasi naman sobrang busy niya talaga sa school kaya di na niya ito nadadalaw at nakakausap. Kaya eto siya, babawi sa babaeng mahal niya.

Knock, knock, knock!

“Hay! Salamat naman at dumating ka na rin, bakla.” She opened the door and was surprised to see who her visitor is, “Ay, ikaw pala Elmo.” Gulat na sabi niya.

“Hi, Julie.” He smiled sweetly.

“Why are you here?”

“Masama ka na bang dalawin ngayon?” sabay pout ni Elmo. “Meron pa naman akong dalang ramen and ice cream, flavor strawberry. Balita ko gusto mo pa naman kumain niyan ngayon.”

“Aww. Did Sef told you that?”

“Hindi mo man lang ba ko papapasukin? Dito mo talaga tayo gustong mag-usap?” he asked.

“ Uhm… Sorry. Pasok ka.” Sabi ni Julie at saka pa binuksan ng maayos ang pinto.

“Thanks. So… What do you want to do?” he asked.

“Uhm… Ewan ko. Pero mas maganda if I’ll eat first. Haha. Kanina pa ko nagugutom eh.” Sagot ni Julie and took the bag from Elmo. “Thanks for this ha?” sabi niya. Habang kumakain si Julie ay tinitignan lang siya ni Elmo.

“Takaw mo!” he teased her.

“Tss. Kanina pa ko nagugutom eh. Bakit ba?” she replied and took another spoonful of her ramen. After she ate ay tumayo na siya at naglakad papunta sa kusina.

“Where are you going?” Elmo asked habang sinusundan niya ito ng tingin.

“Maghuhugas ng pinagkainan. Duh?” she answered.

“Tss. Wag na. May sakit ka diba? Ako na diyan.” He said at saka siya tumayo and followed her to the kitchen. “Julie, let me do that for you.”

“Moe, masama lang pakiramdam ko. But I can still move.” She said at inagaw ulit ang tray kay Elmo. “Mine.” She said.

“No. Give it to me. Ako na sabi eh.” He insisted.

“No. Ako na nga.” Pagpilit ni Julie.

“Julie, isa pa hahalikan na kita.” Julie stopped and handed him the tray.

“Oh ayan. Lamunin mo. Hmp!” at naglakad na ito ng padabog pabalik sa living room. Natawa na lang si Elmo at napailing while he washed the dishes.

“Very moody ka talaga.” He said at saka sinulyapan si Julie na nakasimangot pa rin. “Hay, Julie. Galit or nakasmile, ikaw pa rin ang pinakamagandang babae who ever lived in this planet.” He thought at saka pa naghum habang naghuhugas.

 

*****

She was very happy to see him pero bigla siyang nainis nang pakielaman nito ang ginagawa niya.

“Feeling niya? Mag-asawa kami? Buset.” She whispered. Nang mapansing papalapit na si Elmo ay inirapan niya ito.

“Uy, Miss Sungit. Sorry na.” pagsuyo ni Elmo sa kanya.

“Wag mo kong kausapin.” Pagsusungit niya.

“Aysuuuus. Tampo na siya. Ikaw naman. I don’t want to stress you okay? Nag-aalala lang ako sayo.” He said at saka pa ito tumabi sa kanya. Hindi naman siya pinapansin ni Julie kaya kinalabit niya ito. “Julie… Uy…”

“Wag mo kong kausapin sabi.”

“Julie… Bati na tayo please?” pagsuyo niya. “Baby naman eh.”

“Baby baby ka diyan? Sapak you want?” sabi nito at saka pa pinakita ang kamao niya. Elmo raised his hands in mock surrender at saka inakbayan si Julie.

“Bati na kasi tayo. Teka…” he said at nagmadali siyang pumunta sa  kitchen. Pagbalik niya ay dala na niya ang ice cream na pinabili nito at saka ito binigay sa kanya.

“Ano yan?” she asked pero deep inside ay kinikilig na siya.

“Ice cream. Pampalamig diyan sa mainit mong ulo.” Elmo said habang sinusubukang tanggalin ang kunot sa noo ng dalaga. “Dali na. Bati na tayo please?” Julie grabbed the ice cream bowl at saka siya nito inirapan.

“Pasalamat ka talaga weakness ko ice cream eh. Kundi! Napalayas na kita dito sa unit ko.” Sabi niya at saka na kumain ng ice cream.

“Hahaha. Yey! Bati na tayo ha?” he said at saka pa niya ninakawan ng halik ito sa noo. “Sooooo… wanna watch a movie?” he asked at saka pa pumunta sa dvd rack ni Julie.

“No Strings Attached please?” Julie requested.

“RomCom? Let’s watch horror na lang!” he said and showed her the movie he likes.

“Bakit naman yan?”

“Para pag natakot ka, mapapayakap ka saken.” Bigla namang may tumamang unan sa mukha niya. “Ouch!” sabi niya at saka tumawa ulit. “Joke lang. Hahaha. Fine, fine. No Strings Attached na nga.” And he popped the dvd in at saka na umupo sa tabi nito. Julie moved closer to him at saka sinandal ang ulo niya sa balikat ni Elmo.

Kalagitnaan ng movie ay nakarinig na si Elmo ng soft snores. He looked at the woman beside him and saw that she was fast asleep. Napangiti na lang siya as he paused the movie.

“Hey… Bakit mo pinause? I’m watching pa eh.” She said.

“Shhh… You should go to sleep. You need it.” He said.

“Maaga pa naman eh…” she replied pero nakapikit na.

“Haha. Wag na makulit Julie. Matulog ka na.” sabi niya at saka na siya inalalayan papunta sa kwarto nito. “Goodnight, Jules.” He whispered as she lays down on her bed. He kissed her forehead at saka niya ito nginitian. “See you in the morning.”

 

 

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