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Hindi Nga Ba Ukol? (7)

(Last of 7 parts)

“Okay… okay… I feel like… I feel like…”

“Feel what?” Ang tanong ni Kath.

“I feel like doing a selfie.”

Natahimik kami pareho ni  Kath. Kung nasa tabi ko lang sana siya. Gusto ko siyang yakapin, halikan… angkinin.

Napansin kong hinawakan ni Kath ang kanyang dibdib. Dahan-dahan niya itong hinimas.

“Marco… Marco… what is this that I am feeling? Shit!”

“Kath… sando mo… please take it off.”

“Marco… please… don’t make me do this. Let’s stop.”

“Please Kath…”

“Shit… Marco… bakit ang hirap mong tanggihan.”

Mula sa study table ay binitbit ni Kath ang kanyang laptop at nagpunta sa kanyang kama. Sumandal siya sa headboard ng kama at sa harapan niya’y nakalapag ang laptop.

I did the same. Nagpunta rin ako sa aking kama’t sumandal sa headboard. Nasa harapan ko rin ang gamit kong laptop.

Halos sabay kaming naghubad ni Kath… pantaas… pambaba… panloob.

“Kath… baby…”

“Marcooo…”

**********

Maraming beses naming ginawa iyon.  Mula noon ay sa ganoon  namin tinatapos ang aming pag-uusap halos tuwing gabing may video calls kami. Parehong sa kama na kami nakapuwesto tuwing nag-uusap.

Dumating ang pagkakataon na hindi na sapat sa akin na ganoon lang kami ni Kath. Gusto kong umuwi muna sa Pilipinas upang makasama ko siya.

Isang gabi…

“Marco… ano ba talaga ang plano mo sa akin… sa atin…”

Matagal ko ring hinintay ang pagkakataong iyon… na magtanong si Kath tungkol sa kung ano ang mga gusto kong gawin para sa aming  dalawa.

“Kath… may gusto lang akong itanong bago ko sabihin sa iyo ang mga plano ko.”

“Go ahead… What is it?”

“Who do you love more… me or Jay?”

“Ridiculous!!!”

“Ang alin?” Ang tanong ko kay Kath.

“That’s a ridiculous question Marco.”

“Why!?”

“Why!!??… Are you playing dumb or are you really dumb Marco.”

Nasorpresa ako sa mga sinabing iyon ni Kath.

“Do you recall Marco when we talked before you left for Korea?”

Tumango na lang ako bilang tugon.

“I and Jay had a fight… right?”

Tumango ulit ako.

“…a  fight that almost led to our separation.”

“Kath… please cut the story short. Why are you telling me about that.”

“Ha… Because you were the reason we fought you stupid shit.”

I couldn’t believe what I heard. Hinayaan ko na lang siyang magsalita.

“Jay knows everything about us at that time. I told him. He was so jealous. He was mad. Iyan din ang tinanong niya sa akin. Sino ang mas mahal ko siya o ikaw. I had to be honest with my answer. I told him it’s you. Nagalit siya. Naghamon ng hiwalayan. That’s why I talked to you that day. I wanted to tell you about it.”

Natandaan ko lahat ng iyon.

“But what did you tell me ha… napakagago mo Marco… You we’re so indifferent that day. I was expecting that you would be warm and would give me  a hint that your feelings were still there. Pero ano ginawa mo? You told me na pag-usapan namin ni Jay ng mabuti ang problema namin and it’s best for us to reconcile. Itinaboy mo ako papunta sa kanya.”

Nakakagulat. Hindi ko akalaing ganoon. Had I known ay maaaring hindi na ako tumuloy ng pagpunta ng Korea at dinala ko na lang sana si Kath kung saang lupalop ng mundo man kami mapadpad.

“So. What did I do? The moment na nag-sorry si Jay at nangakong buburahin ka niya sa isip ko eh I grabbed the opportunity. Pero ano? Nabura ka ba niya sa isip ko? Hindi… di ba? Hindi ka naman siguro tanga para ipaliwanag ko pa kung bakit ko sinabing hindi ka niya nabura sa isip ko.”

Hindi pa rin ako nagsalita. Nakinig na lang ako kay Kath.

“Sa halip na siya ang kausap ko sa mga ganitong pagkakataon, iton disoras na ito ng gabi, eh pinili kong ikaw ang kausapin. I never miss him. Not a bit. Pero ikaw… hindi kasya ang halos magdamag na magka-chat tayo. Minsan kahit sa araw tinatawagan kita.  I want to see you all the time. Tapos ngayon tatanungin mo ako kung sino ang mas mahal ko… ikaw o siya? Stupid!!! Ikaw kaya ang sumagot ng tanong mong iyan. Sige Marco. Answer your own question. Who do I love more… you or  Jay?”

“So… sorry Kath…”

“Don’t ‘sorry’ me Marco! Answer your own question!!!”

“Okay… Okay Kath. It’s clear to me. Mas mahal mo ako.”

“Gago… Ikaw lang ang mahal ko… I can’t say if I really love Jay. I just needed him. I needed somebody because you were not there.”

Nagsimulang umiyak si Kath.

“Tahimik na ako Marco. Bakit ba kasi nagparamdam ka pa ulit. Tanggap ko na hindi tayo ukol. Tanggap ko na eh. Pinapagaralan ko nang mahalin si Jay. Pero pumasok ka nanaman sa eksena.”

Kath stopped talking. She just kept sobbing. Ako naman ang nagsalita.

“Sino nga ba ang nakakaalam talaga at makakapagsabi kung ukol ba tayo sa isa’t isa o hindi? Kath… tayo ang magdedesisyon if we’re meant for each other or not.”

Nakayuko si Kath. Patuloy lang sa pag-iyak.

“Iiwanan ko si Anna. Makikipaghiwalay na ako sa kanya. Gusto ko magsama na tayo.”

Muling humarap sa webcam si Kath. Pinunasan ang kanyang luha at suminga ng bahagya.

“Ikaw… kaya mo bang iwanan si Jay?” Tanong ko sa kanya.

“Seryoso ka Marco?”

“Bakit? Nagbibiruan lang ba tayo dito? Is everything between us just a joke?”

“Paano ang mga anak ko?”

“Tatanggapin ko sila. Aariing ko bilang mga tunay na anak.”

Maraming bagay kaming pinagusuapan ni Kath. Sinabi ko sa kanya ang mga bagay na dapat naming gawin bago kami tuluyang makipaghiwalay sa aming mga asawa. Sinabi ko sa kanya na handa na ako. Hinihintay ko na lang ang kanyang magiging desisyon.

“Give me time Marco… give me time to think. Nalilito ako, Naguguluhan. I really don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do.”

“Kath… baby… I will give you all the time you need to think. I have made up my mind a long time ago. The ball is in your court. Ikaw ang magpapasiya kung ukol ”

“Okay… Marco… it’s goodnight for now. Masakit ang ulo ko. I want to rest.”

Pinagbigyan ko ang kahilingan ni Kath.

“By the way, tomorrow’s Saturday… wala muna tayong video call. I need to go to Church early on Sunday. We have a very important activity.”

“I’ll see you on Sunday night then.”

“I’m not sure Marco. Let’s see.”

Hindi ako sigurado kung iiwanan ni Kath si Jay. Alam kong mahal niya ako pero maraming bagay siyang dapat i-consider bago siya mag-decide na sumama sa akin.

Maraming haharaping complications si Kath. Isa na doon ay ang posibleng iskandalo na haharapin namin kapag nalaman ni Jay o ni Anna ang tungkol sa amin. Kaya sinabi ko sa kanya na we would be keeping our relationship secret for some time kahit humiwalay na kami sa aming mga asawa. Isyu rin ang tungkol sa kanilang mga anak. Kapag nalaman ni Jay later na dahil sa akin kaya nakipaghiwalay sa kanya si Kath ay siguradong kapag hindi babawiin ang mga anak nila ay pagbabawalan ang mga itong makita ang kanilang ina. Kung tutuusin ay mas maraming isasakripisyo si Kath kaysa akin kung magdesisyon siyang sumama sa akin.

Pero sa tingin ko,  lahat ng mga isyung naturan ay kayang harapin ni Kath alang-alang sa akin. Gagawin niya ang mga sakripisyong iyon para sa akin. Ganoon ako ka-confident. Confident rin ako na kung mamimili lang siya between me ang Jay ay ako ang pipilian niya.

Kaya lang,  may involved na third party. Alam kong hindi lang si Jay ang karibal ko kay Kath. May kaagaw ako.

**********

Dumating ang Linggo ng gabi…

Si Kath na mismo ang tumawag. Parang mugto ang mga mata niya.

Sa study table nakalagay ang laptop na gamit ni Kath… hindi na sa kama. Ako’y sa kama pa rin nakapuwesto.

“How are you?” Ang panimula ko.

Inilapit ni Kath ang kanyang mukha sa direksyong ng webcam na gamit niya.

“I’m not okay Marco… not okay.”

“May… may I know why.”

Umiling-iling si Kath bago nagsalita.

“Sapol na sapol nanaman ako sa preaching ni pastor kanina.”

Nagsimula nanamang umiyak si Kath. Wala akong puwedeng sabihin na maaaring magpagaan ng kalooban niya. Nakinig lang nanaman ako sa kanya.

“Hindi lang kanina Marco na ganoon. Tuwing aattend ako ng midweek o Sunday service mula nang magsimula tayong to be seriously get involved with another, eh pakiramdam ko lagi ang pinatatamaan ng kung sino man ang naka-assign na mag-preach.”

Kung tutuusin, hindi si Jay ang matinding karibal ko kundi ang pananampalataya ni Kath sa Panginoon.

“Marco, are you not bothered by what we are doing?”

 Hindi man ako pala-simba eh I believe in Him. Paano ko ba sasabihin kay Kath na ako man ay may struggles din katulad ng sa kanya. But I keep asking Him for forgiveness and understanding. Para kasing itinapon ko na sa basurahan ang aking konsensya. Wala na akong gustong mangyari kung hindi iyong makasama ko si Kath.

“I can’t take it anymore Marco. Every time we do those things we did, I feel so dirty.”

Mas lumakas pa ang iyak ni Kath.

“I am sorry Kath… This is all my fault.”

“No Marco. Hindi na ako bata. May isip naman ako. May sarili akong desisyon. Ginusto ko lahat ng ginawa natin. Ginusto kong pumasok sa relasyong ito na walang pumipilit sa akin. Kaya pareho lang tayong may fault dito.”

Gusto kong bigyan ng justification ang mga ginagawa namin. Pero anong justification ang puwede kong ibigay. Puwede ko bang sabihin na tao lang ang may gawa ng lahat ng existing moral standards?

“We love each other Kath. That’s all that matters.”

“Stop that Marco. Mahal nga natin ang isa’t isa pero mali eh. Patuloy ba tayong mamumuhay sa kasalanan?”

 Puwede ko bang sabihin na mas malaking kasalanan na patuloy silang nagsasama ni Jay… at kami ni Anna… na alam naman namin pareho na hindi namin sila mahal?

“It has to stop Marco. We have to stop. Bago pa man na mabisto ni Jay… o ni Anna… o ninoman… ang mga ginagawa natin eh itigil na natin.”

Ano pa ba ang puwede kong sabihin para ma-convince ko si Kath na huwag tapusin ang relasyon namin.

“Marco… I am sorry. I am not choosing between you and Jay. I am choosing between what is right and what is wrong.”

Gusto ko sanang sabihin kay Kath na ako nama’y hindi namili sa pagitan ng kung ano ang tama at mali. Tatlo ang pinagpipilian ko – ang tama, ang mali, at si Kath. At si Kath ang pinili ko.

“Let’s just be friends  Marco. But no more calls. Let’s go back to what it used to. Puwede tayong magkumustahan once in a while pero PM na lang.”

“Kath please… allow me to still call you…”

“Marco… we both know what will happen if we still do video calls. So please… Hayaan mo na ako. Tulungan mo ako sa gusto kong gawin. Mahihirapan din ako. Nasanay na ako na lagi kang kausap at alam mo kung gaano ako karupok pagdating sa iyo. But I have to bear it.”

“Basta Kath… I will still call you.”

“If you do that Marco, I will be forced na i-block ka sa Facebook. If you will call me using your phone, I will block your number as well.”

Wala na akong masabi. Tinignan ko na lang si Kath.  Maaring iyon na nga ang huling pagkakataon na makausap ko siya.

“If you have nothing more to say, I have to end this call. Jay will be calling anytime soon. Ni-request ko iyon. Parte ng prosesong pagdadaanan ko. Sa halip na ikaw, siya dapat ang kausapin ko.”

Nasaktan ako sa narinig kong iyon. Pero ano ang magagawa ko.

“Ano, may sasabihin ka pa ba?”

Iling na lang ang naitugon ko kay Kath.

“Marco, for the last time… let me say this. I love you. But I have to learn to forget you.  Sana maintindihan mo kung bakit ko kaylangang gawin ito. I am sorry.”

“I love you to Kath.”

“Goodbye now Marco. Pilitin mo sanang matutuhang mahalin si Anna. I wish the best for the two of you.”

Wala na si Kath. If that is for good, only God knows.

I lost Kath… not to Jay… but to her strong faith.

Mahirap talagang karibal ang Panginoon. Wala akong panalo.

Siguro nga eh tama si Kath… hindi kami ukol para sa isa’t isa.

– W A K A S –

The Runner-up

(A Dramatic Speech)

Thrice that I tried, thrice that I failed. That in a nutshell is the story of my attempts to represent our school in the annual extemporaneous speech competition. Had I won first place in the contest I should have been the school’s bet for that event. But as usual, I ended up the runner-up and my friend Athena the winner. She really is an excellent orator. Whatever I can do, she can do better. It is what it is. That’s it. Perhaps next year, I’ll just try declamation so I wouldn’t compete with her anymore.

“I was just lucky Christian!” That was Athena trying to console me after the contest.

“It has nothing to do with luck. You’re really a good speaker.” You deserve to win. Good luck with the speech competition.”

After saying “thank you,” Athena embraced me. Well, that’s my consolation prize, I got a hug from my friend.

Then the day of the competition came. I went to the school hosting the cultural contests to watch the different events. As soon as I reached the campus of the host school, my phone rang. It was Mrs. Simon, our school principal. She asked me to see her immediately so we could talk. Sensing the urgency in her voice, I headed hurriedly to the library of that school where she said she would wait for me.

“Christian… Athena is in the hospital now, she had an accident on her way here. She wouldn’t make it to the contest. Having won second place in our elimination you ought to substitute for her. You will be our contestant for the extemporaneous speech. The officers of the event allowed it.”

I was dumbfounded…speechless! She talked fast as if not wanting to give me the opportunity to say no. That’s vintage Mrs. Simon… direct to the point, firm, and wouldn’t take NO for an answer. No ifs, no buts. I didn’t know what to say then. I was worried about the fact that I’m joining a competition on so short a notice…but I was more worried about Athena.

“The contest starts in less than two hours. Do this not for yourself, not even for the school. Do this for your friend Athena. PLEASE!” Mrs. Simon implored.

I accepted the challenge and started preparing mentally. It’s good that I was familiar with the criteria for judging and the theme was the same one we used for our school competition. The only problem was the specific topic.

When Ms. Cruz, Athena’s coach arrived, we had a discussion about the contest rules and the possible specific topics the judges might give.

Then finally, the contest started. And as if having only less than two hours to prepare is not challenging enough, I even picked no. 1 in the drawing of lots making me the first contestant.

In a room adjacent to the contest venue, I was handed a piece of paper containing the specific topic written in a question form.

“What can you do to make the Philippines a better nation?”

“Oh my God!” I exclaimed. That’s not one of the possible questions I practiced with Ms. Cruz.

I had three minutes to prepare my speech…three minutes to think of how can I make my country better. Are the judges kidding me? They are giving me just a few minutes to solve the problems that bedeviled this nation for God knows how long.

Look! How many presidents took turns in running the show in Malacañang? How many years did each of them have to make this nation great? Did they succeed? NOOO!!! And here are the judges asking me to perform a miracle… make the Philippines a great nation… and I only have what… 3 minutes!!! Those presidents even had the help of the honorable senators and congressmen and here I am…just an ordinary boy… by my lonesome! What can I do?

Wait…wait…! Calm down Christian….calm down…this is just a contest…take the competition seriously and not the question…it’s only a question…it’s hypothetical. Don’t take it personally! Take a deep breath. Come on! Inhale….exhale…

I want to stop the hands of time. Every movement of the minute hand is like a knife slicing my mind, shredding to pieces my composure.

Until the last few seconds, nothing came to my mind. Then Ms. Cruz came telling me it’s time. I closed my eyes and whispered, “Dear Lord, please help me.”

Deliberately that I walked slowly towards the next room. Then I passed by one student standing on the hallway his head swaying to the music he’s playing on his cell phone. I know the song. It’s Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror.” Then that part of the song I heard as I passed by the student was like electricity that lightened a bulb in my head.

That was one of my “aha moments.” God heard my plea.

“I am but a young man. Still struggling to get an education. I don’t have much to give… no brilliant ideas to share… to make the Philippines a better nation. I don’t have the power, the money, the influence to make any meaningful contributions to our society. But there is one thing I can do that might just be what this nation needs. In one of his songs, the king of Pop, the late Michael Jackson, said that if I want to make this world a better place, I have to take a look at myself then make a change. That exactly is what I intend to do. I cannot change the system of our government. I cannot change your ways of thinking and of doing things. I cannot change you…but I can change myself. I have the power to transform me. I can change my attitude in life. I can change my perspectives. I can be the best me. If only each of us can change for the better, the Philippines might be a better nation.”

That I supposed was the best part of my 3-minute speech. I did not stay in the contest venue after I delivered my impromptu speech. I went out and proceeded immediately to the hospital where Athena was confined. I was happy to see her sustaining just minor injuries.

While in the hospital, I got a call from Mrs. Simon informing me of the results of the contest. Guess what! NO! I did not win 1st place. I was again a runner-up. At least, along with the winner, I will represent the district in the provincial competition.

Anyway, winning the contest was not the great news I wanted to have that day… it was knowing that my friend Athena is okay after the accident.

Hindi Nga Ba Ukol? (6)

(6th of 7 parts)

“Well said… isa ba iyan sa mga inihanda mong speech para ma in love ulit ako sa iyo?”

 “Bakit Kath… hindi ka ba in love.”

“Here we go again… Marco… we’re just friends now. Nothing more… nothing less.”

Tumahimik na lang ako matapos sabihin iyon ni Kath.

“Pero Marco… sino iyong tinutukoy mong puting rosas doon sa tula mong “Sa Hardin ng Puso Ko”?

Totoo ngang binabasa ni Kath ang mga tula ko. Alam niya ang ganoong ka-specific na detail sa tula kong iyon.

“Kath… obvious naman siguro na ikaw iyon di ba.”

“Ewan ko sa iyo Marco. Ewan ko sa iyo.”

**********

Mula noon, ang once a week naming video calls ay naging twice a week,  minsan nga ay thrice. May mga pagkakataon na siya na mismo ang tumatawag sa akin. Minsan nga kahit hindi gabi ay nagugulat akong bigla na lamang siyang tatawag.

“O Kath, natawag ka. What’s up?”

“Sorry naabala yata kita… sige na cut ko na itong call.”

“No… no… no… Please don’t. Break ko ngayon. Nandito ako sa isang coffee shop. Balik ako sa office after 20 minutes.”

“Okay. What time ka uuwi mamaya?”

 “You know my schedule Kath.”

“Ah yeah… Today’s Wednesday. You be home by 7:00 PM.”

 “Yes baby!”

“BABBYY!? Me?”

 “Yeah. Okay lang ba Kath kung tawagin kitang baby?”

 “Magtigil ka nga Marco.”

 “Sige na… just let me call you baby.”

 “Bahala ka nga.”

 “YEESS! Teka bakit nga pala natawag ka?”

 Hindi sumasagot si Kath.

 “Aha! Alam ko na. Miss ako ng baby ko.”

 “Assuming ka Marco.”

 Alam ko naman kung bakit tumawag si Kath. Hindi na niya kaylangang sabihin.

 “Hoy Marco… sino iyang babae sa likod. Tingin ng tingin sa iyo ah.”

 “Malay ko. Gusto mo tanungin ko pangalan?”

 “Sira… Siguraduhin mo lang na hindi mo kasama iyan ha.”

 “No baby. I don’t know her.”

 “Okay Marco. I know you still need to go back to work. Ako naman eh preparing to attend our mid-week service sa church.”

**********

That night, excited akong tinawagan ulit si Kath. Katulad ng dati ay nagsend muna ako ng PM sa kanya.

“Hello Kath! Puwede po bang tumawag?”

Dati, it would take only a few seconds for Kath to respond indicating na hinihintay niya talaga na magparamdam ako. That time, ilang minuto na ang lumilipas ay hindi siya sumasagot. “Not seen” ang status ng message kong iyon.

Maraming bagay ang naglaro sa isip ko. Baka nakatulog siya o busy with something. O baka nagkaproblema at dapat niya ito ayusin.. O baka ayaw niya lang talaga akong kausapin.

After an hour, muli akong nagmessage.

“Kath… if there is something wrong… please tell me. But if you have just fallen asleep eh okay lang. I’ll just see you tomorrow. Goodnight baby.”

Nahiga ako pero hindi ako dalawin ng antok. Maya’t-maya eh tinitignan ko ang aking FB messenger checking if she has already responded. Pero wala.

**********

Hating-gabi na nang naglakas-loob akong tawagan siya sa Messenger.

Sinagot niya.

“Are you okay Kath?” Ang bungad ko sa kanya.

Umiling-iling siya.

“May I know why?” Ang tanong ko.

Matagal bago siya sumagot.

“Marco…”

“Sige lang… I am listening.”

“Marco… let’s stop this. Please stop calling me.”

“Why? Kanina nang tumawag ka okay naman tayo ah. Why all of a sudden eh ganito…”

“I’m sorry Marco… Ang tindi ng tama sa akin ng preaching ni pastor kanina. Sapol na sapol ako.”

“Bakit ka naman nasapol?”

“Can’t you see Marco? I long for your presence more than I long for Jay’s presence. Dati nag-uusap kami almost every night. Then you came back to my life. Now, I’d rather talk to you than to him.”

Natutuwa akong marinig ko iyon. Iyon ay isang pag-amin na mahal niya ako… na mahal pa rin niya ako hanggang ngayon. Pero hindi lubusan ang saya kong iyon dahil nararamdaman ko ang struggles ni Kath.

“Heto nanaman ako Marco. Nagpapakagaga sa iyo. Bakit ba pagdating sa iyo eh ang rupok-rupok ko.”

Hinayaan ko lang magasalita si Kath. Nakining lang ako.

“Tahimik na kasi ako noon Marco.  Bakit kasi  hindi mo na lang ako kinalimutan? Bakit kinulit mo pa ako ng kinulit? Kasalanan ko naman eh. I could have chosen to disengage earlier from that conversation when you greeted me on my birthday. Bakit kasi hinayaan ko na humaba ang paguusap natin noon? Bakit kasi sinagot ko iyong video call mong iyon?”

Pagkatapos niyang sabihin ang mga iyon eh may namagitang katahimikan sa pagitan namin.

“Mali itong ginagawa natin Marco. Tigilan na natin ito. Kalimutan mo na ako.”

“Kalimutan ka Kath? Sabi ko nga sa iyo di ba. Sinubukan ko. Pero ang hirap mong kalimutan. And I think I will never ever do that. I am sorry. I love you baby.”

Nakita kong tumitig direkta sa webcam ng laptop niyang gamit si Kath. She probably searched for my eyes.

“I love you too Marco… I love you. May God forgive me… but I love you.”

**********

Almost every night na kami nagkakausap ni Kath since then. Minsan kahit sa araw ay bigla na lang siyang tatawag… ganoon din ako. Kapag nami-miss ko siya eh tatawag ako at kahit sandali eh maguusap kami.

Kung naglalakbay kami sa dagat eh masasabi kong lumaot na kami ng lumaot ni Kath. Hindi na namin tanaw ang dalampasigang pinanggalingan namin. At hindi din ako nakakatiyak kung gusto pa namin bumalik sa dalampasigang iyon.

Isang gabi…

“Marco… gaano katotoo na mula nang mapunta ka diyan eh hindi ka umaano?”

“Umaano? Ano iyon?”

“Sus… akala mo naman hindi niya alam kung ano sinasabi ko. O sige… dyugdyug na lang. Mula ba noong nag-Korea ka eh hindi ka naka-dyugdyug?”

“Sabihin ko mang hindi eh maniniwala ka ba?”

“Mahirap lang paniwalaan… sa ano mong iyan eh parang imposible.”

“Sa ano? Anong ano sinasabi mo?”

“LIBOG… Sa libog mong iyan eh parang imposibleng hindi ka umaano diyan.”

“Sabi nang hindi nga eh… Kung gusto kong tumikim ng babae dito eh may pambayad naman ako. Kayang-kaya ng budget ko. Puwede ring akong manyota ng mga babaeng Pinay dito kung gugustuhin ko.”

“So… how do you… you know.”

Natawa ako sa tanong na iyon ni Kath.

“Selfie. Do you get what I mean.” Sagot ko.

“Sus, pa-cute ka pa. Ayaw pang sabihin masturbate.”

Nagtawanan kaming dalawa.

“Ayon na nga… Nagse-selfie ako Kath. Not necessarily dahil horny ako. Kaylangan kong i-realease  iyon. Naniniwala ako na one way of avoiding prostate cancer eh there should be a certain number of times na mag-ejaculate ang lalaki.”

“Talaga?”

“Yes Kath. That’s the only reason I need to do it. Kaya nga ako twice a week mag-selfie.”

“Do you need stimulation kapag gagawin mo iyon?”

“Yeah… may mga adult websites akong pinupuntahan whenever I have to do it.”

“Ay… kadiri ka Marco.”

Nagtawanan ulit kami  ni Marco.

“By the way Kath, I hope you don’t mind me asking. Ikaw… do you…”

Parang nahiya akong ituloy ang tanong na iyon.

“Masturbate? Do I masturbate? Is that what you want to ask?”

Tumango ako.

“No! During the first few days of Jay sa barko eh minsang sinubukan naming gawin iyon online.”

“Kath…You mean cybersex.”

“Yup Marco. But I wasn’t able to attain orgasm. I don’t know why. Kaya hindi na namin inulit.”

“Kath…”

“Yes Marco.”

May iba akong naramdam dahil sa pinaguusapan namin.

“Why Marco? Are you okay?”

“Ahh.. sorry Kath. I just felt something.”

“What is it?”

“Never mind Kath. I’ll be fine.”

“No Marco… tell me what you feel.”

“I said never mind Kath.”

“Marco… I said tell me.”

Part 7

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