Chapter 13

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Chapter 13

It was almost midnight by the time we arrived at the tower. Sa sobrang traffic ay natagalan ang aming biyahe pauwi mula sa hotel kung saan kami kumain ng dinner. The van stopped at the driveway because Ike would go home straight after dropping me off.

"Just take two paper bags with you," Ike told me as soon as I tried to reach for the paper bags from the back. "I'll ask someone to take care of those tomorrow. I know you haven't organized your personal things yet, so you can work on those first."

With my lips pursed, I nodded. "Kung ganoon ay mauuna na ako?"

He nodded back with a small smile lingering on his lips. "Thank you for working hard today," he told me, his tone soft and gentle.

Bahagyang napaawang ang aking labi habang nararamdaman ang pag-init ng aking pisngi. "I should be the one thanking you..." sabi ko. "Kahit na hindi naman kailangan ay sinamahan mo ako buong araw."

Back in Roxas, especially in our neighborhood, I wouldn't worry too much hanging out with him. No one knows him there. He could freely be himself. However, everything was different in Manila. I could feel him being extra cautious once we were out of Top Star Records. All of the places we went to are all exclusive.

How does it feel to live with people watching your every move? How suffocating it is to live your life like you're always under surveillance?

I had no idea. I didn't have a single clue. But I was sure that it must had been hard for him―and for other public figures. If it was me in his position, I wondered how long I'd last... I wondered if I could sacrifice my freedom in exchange for my dreams...


I snapped back to reality when I heard Ike calling my name. I directed my attention on him. He cocked his head on one side while looking at me with concern.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

"Oo, uhm, may naisip lang ako..." sabi ko na lang.

His lips formed into a thin line.

Since he didn't say anything, silence reigned in between us. Tanging ang tunog lamang ng makina ng van ang aking nadidinig.

"Uhm... Aakyat na ako," paalam ko ulit at saka sinikop na ang dalawang paper bag.

Ike still remained silent, he seemed to be in deep thought. I nervously swallowed the feeling of uneasiness before I turned my back on him and faced the door. I was about to reach for the door handle when I felt Ike seized my arm.

I jumped in surprise as I looked at him again. He was no longer out of focus. His eyes were all on me, looking so determined.

"I'll pick you up tomorrow after lunch," he suddenly stated.

"May schedule din ba ako bukas?" Naramdaman kong bumagsak ang aking katawan sa pag-iisip na magiging abala na naman ako kinabukasan.

I thought I would have a free time tomorrow. Gusto ko sanang ayusin ang aking mga gamit dahil hindi ko iyon magagawa pag-uwi sa sobrang pagod.

Napailing ako at agad na ngumiti. "Pero ayos lang!" I immediately tried to lift my spirits up. "Ano ba ang schedule ko bukas?"

Ike huskily chuckled while shaking his head. "Don't worry," he said. "I'm just going to take you somewhere that I think you'll really like."

His answer piqued my curiosity. There was a bolt of excitement inside me. I still had no idea where he would take me, but I had a feeling that I was really going to like it.

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