Chapter 10

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Humigop ako ng kape habang nakatanaw sa dumaragsang sasakyan. Iʼm here today at my favorite coffee shop, nakapuwesto sa isang mesa na malapit sa patio kaya kitang-kita ko rin ang pagdaan ng mga tao.

Heto ako ngayon, umiinom ng kape sa halip na magpalamig ng ulo dahil sa nangyari kanina. I tried to calm myself and get rid of the negativity that was bothering my mind.

Please not now. Sa isipan ay pinagalitan ko ang aking sarili.

I sighed before taking a sip of coffee but I stopped when I heard a familiar voice.

“Are you alone?”

I slowly put the coffee mug on the table and seriously looked at the man in front of me. 

“Obviously. Maliban na lang kung may nakikita kang ibang creature sa tabi ko.” Inirapan ko siya.

Humalakhak si Miguel at walang-pasabing inilapag ang dalang tray sa table at umupo sa kaibayo.

I glared at him. “Who told you Iʼd let you share my table?”

“Kailangan ko pa bang magpaalam sa ‘yo? Wala ka namang kasama ngayon kaya puwede akong maging ka-date mo,” pilyong sabi niya na mas lalong nagpainit ng aking ulo.

“Umalis ka sa harapan ko... gusto kong mapag-isa,” kalmado kong pakiusap.

“Ito naman, parang wala tayong pinagsamahan.” Sumimangot siya at agad akong napangiwi dahil hindi iyon bagay sa kanya.

“Are you following me again?”

I donʼt care if someone is looking at us and they think weʼre lovers in this situation—even if weʼre not.

“No...” He shook his head slightly before blowing on his coffee. “maybe itʼs just a coincidence that we met,” he added while placing the cup on the saucer.

“Youʼre such a liar!” I hissed.

I know his reason for being here, heʼs recruiting me to join their group again.

He burst out laughing. Both hands are raised in mock surrender. “I know I can find you here, thatʼs why I came.” He lowered his hands and became serious. “Umaasa akong puma—”

“How many times do I have to tell you that I donʼt want to join your gang?” untag ko.

“Brielle...” He reached my hand that was resting on the table and squeezed it lightly. “we need you. We need your help,” he pleaded.

I immediately withdrew my hand from him. Ayoko talagang hinahawakan ako! I feel like I want to wash my hands and pour a lot of alcohol. Nandidiri ako bagaman hindi ko iyon ipinakita sa kanya dahil baka mapahiya ko siya sa mga taong napapasulyap sa gawi namin.

“Lubayan niyo na ako,” seryoso kong pakiusap.

I lifted the mug again at inubos ang laman when I noticed that it was getting cold. Hindi ko na rin nagawang lantakan ang Donut’s sa plato sapagkat madudumihan lamang iyon kapag hinawakan ko.

“I wonʼt force you...” pabuntong hininga niyang sinabi. “for now.” at sumilay na naman ang nakakasuklam niyang ngiti.

“Nagbagong buhay na ako, Miguel. I donʼt want any more trouble, so stop it,” I tried to make him understand.

“I donʼt believe you,” he laughed, looking down while shaking his head.

“Iʼm telling the truth,” I insisted.

Mataman niya akong tinitigan bago nagsalita muli. “Are you afraid that your parents will find out? Magagawa naman natin iyan ng paraan. Ibabalik ko sa ‘yo ang dati mong posisyon... just come back to us.”

Theyʼre really desperate to get me.

Itʼs been years since I left the Butch Gang and until now theyʼre still trying to convince me to join, at maging kanang kamay muli ni Boss D.

Miguel took over my position when I left the organization. Kaya nila ako pinapabalik dahil marami akong nagagawa na hindi nila kayang gawin.

I feel like Iʼm an important person na pinag-aagawan dahil sa husay ko sa pakikipaglaban.

“Matagal ko ng tinalikuran ang pagiging gangster kaya huwag niyo na akong gambalain!” I raised my voice to him.

I donʼt care if anyone hears, mabuti nga iyon na malaman nilang gangster itong kaharap ko nang sa ganoon ay maisuplong nila ito sa mga pulis.

“Huwag kang magsalita ng tapos,” he warned me.

“I know... but as long as I can, iiwas ako sa gulo. I want to live a normal life and teach peacefully... Iʼm not like you who have no dreams in life.”

Pumalatak siya. “Youʼre just a student teacher pero ang yabang mo na. Sa tingin mo ba magiging tunay na guro ka kapag nalaman nila kung sino ka talaga?”

Kumuyom ang mga kamao ko. Parang gusto kong ihagis sa mukha niya ang natitirang kape ko sa baso.

“Lahat ng pagkakamali ay naitatama sa mabuting paraan. Even though my life wasnʼt good before, the important thing is that I have changed somehow. Kahit barumbado ako katulad ninyo! I still have the right to reach my dreams. I still have the right to be a teacher despite my true personality.”

Bakit gan’on ang tingin nila sa akin? Bakit ipinapamukha nila sa akin na wala akong mararating? Wala na ba akong karapatan maging isang guro dahil dati akong sindikato?

“Walang saysay ‘yang pangarap mo kung unti-unting masisira ang dangal mo.” he smirked.

Umiling ako na parang nakakasigurado. “That will never happen,” matigas kong sambit.

“Nasa paligid mo lang ang sisira sa buhay mo, Brielle. Kaya kung ako sa ‘yo... pumanig ka na sa amin.” Tila baʼy isa siyang manghuhula na nababasa ang kapalaran ko kaya niya ako binabalaan ng ganito.

“What do you mean?” I asked even though I wasnʼt interested.

“Stay away from your students.” His face was very serious when he said that.

Nababaliw na ba siya? How can I teach if I stay away from them? Besides, I have no strong reason to avoid them!

I leaned on the backrest and crossed my arms. “Why would I do that?” I raised an eyebrow at him.

“Dahil mapapahamak ka lang.”

“And how can you be sure?”

“You donʼt know them!” he snorted at me.

“Mapanganib sila, Brielle... maniwala ka sa ‘kin,” sinabi niya iyon nang walang bahid na biro.

“And you think Iʼm afraid of them? I donʼt care even if they are dangerous. Iʼm not a coward! If they fight me—I can defend myself.”

“Theyʼre also gangsters.”

Pagak akong tumawa. Is this what he wants to convey to me? I know they are gangsters because Brinley told me that before. Besides, itʼs very obvious in their section, isnʼt it?

“I know...” mahinahon kong tugon dahil napapagod na akong magsalita.

Diretsong tumitig si Miguel sa akin. “You donʼt know much about them,” He stood up and laid his palms flat on the table surface at bahagyang dumukwang sa akin. “Iʼm warning you, Brielle. Stay away from those gangsters before itʼs too late. Hindi totoo ang ipinapakita nila sa ‘yo at ang mga nakikita mo. Mga demonyo sila at maruming makipaglaro.”

Kilala ko si Miguel. I know heʼs telling the truth but thereʼs a part of me that doesnʼt believe what heʼs saying. 

“Huwag mong hahayaan na mapalapit sila sa ‘yo, dahil kapag nalaman nila ang buo mong pagkatao... pupuntiryahin ka nila sa kahinaan mo.” He finally left in front of me after saying that word.

I was stunned. It seems that even my breathing suddenly stopped. Gumapang ang kaba sa aking dibdib habang paulit-ulit kong naririnig ang mga katagang iyon na parang isang sirang plaka. Tila nagdulot iyon sa akin ng kilabot, ngayon lang ako kinabahan ng ganito katindi!

𝗣𝗔𝗧𝗧𝗬’𝗦

Sheʼs Temporary Teacher Of Section Gang Tahanan ng mga kuwento. Tumuklas ngayon