Chapter 27

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#NewClassicRTMC

Chapter 27
Summer of 19

"Aleena!"

My team began panicking as soon as I entered my own dressing room. Ate Gina and Ate Blessie immediately dragged me in front of the vanity mirror. They were having cold sweats. Wala silang inaksayang oras at agad akong sinimulang ayusan.

Wala pang tatlong oras simula nang natapos naming dalawa ni Isaiah ang aking kanta. I was running very late. Isang oras na lang ay magsisimula na ang live broadcast. Muntik na akong hindi umabot. Kanina pa ako pinapaulanan ng mga tawag at texts nina Ike at Mr. Joel.

I assured them though that I would not back down from the competition. I also informed them that I wrote a new song. Kaya habang abala kami ni Isaiah sa kanta, abala rin sina Ike at Mr. Joel sa mga changes sa stage design ko.

I could feel their nervousness. Kahit ako man ay kinabahan na baka hindi na ako umabot. I didn't want my hard work go to waste. The thought that Willow would have a higher chance of winning, if I wouldn't make it, frustrated me so much.

Kahit si Zendaya na kasama ni Isaiah na naghatid sa akin papuntang arena ay hindi mapakali. I had never seen her so angry, but she was so pissed off because of the reckless drivers who were causing traffic. Sa rear view mirror naman, kahit medyo iritado rin ay nakikita kong nangingiti si Isaiah tuwing ipinapakita ni Zendaya na naiinis siya.

I'm really grateful to them both.

Isaiah was very hands-on as we worked together to finish my song. He almost didn't get a sleep while working on the music arrangement. He was very open to my suggestions. We would often exchange ideas, and I was glad that we both had the same vision for the song. Nakuha niya agad ang mga gusto kong mangyari. Nagkasundo kami sa mga synths, instruments, at effects na ginamit. Mayroon din siyang binago sa bilang ng tempo na mas ikinaayos ng kanta.

I realized how detailed Isaiah is when it comes to making a song. If I'd be honest, it was harder to work with him than Ike. As the youngest awarded songwriter in the country, he is in a different league.

However, even if it was a tough experience, I still learned a lot from him. He pointed out my mistakes and some flaws. He also shared some techniques when it comes to writing lyrics. May mga inirevise pa ako dahil sa mga payo niya sa akin.

Learning is really a never-ending process. You will keep on learning and discovering new things through experiences and from meeting other people. We learn every single day. If you think that you already know enough, you'll realize that it's just the surface and you still have to go deeper.

It's like running on a marathon. You passed the 3km to 5km to 10km or even 20km before you reached the finish line. But just when you thought it's already over, another marathon is set to start where you can challenge yourself once more.

That's why I'm grateful to Isaiah for making me reflect on these realizations. Ganoon na rin kay Zendaya na sinuportahan kaming dalawa. She would always check on us and bring us food to eat when we almost forgot about taking care of ourselves. And since I wanted to avoid crossing paths with Ike, she even invited me to sleep in their house and treated me like a sister. In this cruel world, I'm happy to meet someone like her who is pure and kind.

"Nandyan na ba si Aleena?" Sumabog ang boses ni Mr. Joel pagpasok sa dressing room, mukhang tarantang-taranta.

Our eyes met through the mirror. He sighed in relief.

"Mabuti naman..." sabi niya. "Bilisan ninyo na ang pag-ayos sa kanya. Kahit minimal hair and makeup lang muna dahil may time pa namang ayusan siya ulit bago ang performance niya."

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