Chapter 34

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Chapter 34
Second Chance

Time really tends to quicken its pace, whenever you're in a state of bliss, which is usually followed by a deep yearning. You'd wish to have the power to stop the time and stay in the moment for as long as you want, or turn it back to relive a certain experience once again.

Despite our desires to be in full control of our time, it can never happen. It's not like a movie nor a song that you can pause, play, rewind, and skip. It's too precious and valuable to waste. It's not something that we should spend recklessly.

The thing is no one knows where time goes. Once we've lost it, we can never get it back. The best thing to do is to make sure that you use it on something worthwhile and spend it with the people you love and care for. That way, it'll never be a waste.

"Please take a picture of us three," Cloé handed her camera to Jirro.

We were on our final island hopping. It was their last day of stay in Roxas and the eve of Jirro's birthday.

I didn't know where the whole week went. It felt like it was only yesterday when they arrived. Noong una ay sobrang nabigla pa ako sa kanilang pagdating, ngunit kalaunan ay gusto kong manatili sila nang mas matagal.

Zendaya and Cloé are such good companies. I love hanging out with them. I was friends with some girls when I was still a student, but I never felt that comfortable until I experienced being with them. Halos magkasundo kaming tatlo sa lahat ng bagay. Hindi rin nagkakalayo ang aming mga personalidad kaya mas lalo kaming naging malapit sa isa't isa.

I couldn't forget when they asked permission from Auntie Divina to live with them at the villa for a week. We were like teenagers in college, making use of our one week vacation before the start of another semester.

"Hindi ko alam na may mga naging kaibigan pala itong si Aleena sa Maynila," ngiting-ngiti si Auntie Divina habang kausap sina Zendaya at Cloé. "Nakakatuwa naman at talagang dito ninyo pa napiling magbakasyon para makasama siya."

Feeling grateful to meet such kind souls, I smiled genuinely while looking at them.

They told me they planned to spend their vacation and celebrate Jirro's birthday in Roxas because they wanted me to be a part of it. Gusto rin nilang malayo sa syudad upang makapagpahinga nang maayos. Kaya naman wala silang pagdadalawang-isip na lumipad papunta rito. They even booked the other two premium villas in a flash.

"Opo. Kaya po sana ay pagbigyan ninyo pong makasama namin si Aleena ng isang buong linggo," nakangiting paghingi ng permiso ni Cloé para sa akin. "Diyan lang po kami sa resort. Mas masaya po kasi kung magkakasama kami."

"Wala namang problema sa akin. Matanda na rin si Aleena para magdesisyon sa kanyang sarili," sabi ni auntie. "Aba'y hindi nga 'yan umuwi kagabi! Nagtext lamang sa akin si Ike na roon natulog sa villa niya."

Napaubo ako sa mariing bulong ni Auntie Divina kina Zendaya at Cloé. Mabuti na lang at mukhang hindi nadinig ng mga lalaki na nakaupo sa sala. Nagpigil naman ng tawa ang dalawa at napasulyap sa akin.

Their meaningful stares made my cheeks flush. I was feeling embarrassed. I had a feeling that they were thinking of dirty thoughts. Kahit si Zendaya ay parang ganoon ang ipinaparating ng kanyang tingin sa akin. Hindi ko magawang kumontra dahil baka mas lalong makaisip nang hindi maganda di Auntie Divina.

As much as possible, I also don't want to lie about what happened between me and Ike. Kaya hindi na lang ako magsasalita dahil baka magtanong pa siya.

"Huwag po kayong mag-alala. Kami po ang bahala kay Aleena," sabi ni Cloé upang mapanatag ang loob ni auntie.

It was fortunate that Auntie Divina didn't ask more details about my night with Ike. She also agreed to let me stay with them for a week. Bago umalis ay tinulungan pa akong mag-impake ng damit nina Cloé at Zendaya upang hindi na ako magpabalik-balik.

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