Blown By The Wind – Kabanata 1

July 24, 2017 By In Blown By The Wind Comments Off on Blown By The Wind – Kabanata 1

Kabanata 1
Blown

To fill my veins with salt water. To be seen by the moon as I bid goodbye to the life I borrowed. I guess it is not a bad place to die.

Unti-unti akong nanghina. Sa pinaghalu-halong dahilan. Sa pagod, gutom, at uhaw.

“Ang kinis talaga ng babaeng ito…” A man said in a low tone.

Pikit pa ang aking mga mata. Ang aking mga talukap ay hinihila ng pagod. Ngunit nang mahawakan ako sa aking hita ay nagising ang aking diwa.

Someone is holding my wrist! Amoy ng alak na nakahalo sa amoy ng sigarilyo ang silid na iyon. When they noticed that I’m awake, the hold on my wrist started to loosen a bit.

“Gising na, pre.”

Ngunit huli na ang lahat. I felt a hand on my thighs, slightly touching it. Another hand is on my stomach, slightly advancing higher to meet my chest.

“Eury, ayos ka lang ba?” fake concern laced on Hubert’s voice.

I am no saint. I have judged a lot of people, with their looks and gestures. I guess the business has impaired my judgement a bit that I have trusted too many people along the way… for success.

Hubert smiled. Trying to convince me that he did not do anything wrong, but with the situation and that look on his face, he’s failing miserably.

Mabilis akong bumangon. Ang sakit sa ulo’y isinantabi. Alipin na lamang ng takot at gahiblang lakas ng loob.

Si Hubert ang humarap sa akin ngunit kahit patuloy siya sa pagsasalita ay hindi ko na matanggap ang kahit anong eksplenasyon.

“Eury, nahimatay ka sa pagod. Mabuti pang mahiga ka muna-”

Tinulak ko ang lalaking nakahawak kanina sa aking hita. Gulat sa aking lakas, napa urong ito at hindi agad nakabawi.

“Eury-Eury-Eury…” sunod sunod na tawag ni Hubert nang umamba akong tatakas patakbo sa pintuan ng silid na iyon.

Nevermind that I’m almost not clothed. Nevermind that there is less chance that I would get away for I don’t know much about this place.

Hirap ako sa pag unlock ng pintuan. Dahilan kung bakit ako nahawakan noong isa pang photographer.

“Bitiwan mo ako!” sigaw ko.
“Eury, pag usapan natin ‘to! They were just checking if you’re fine!” si Hubert.

Nagpatuloy ako sa pag-uunlock ng pintuan nang marahas akong hinila noong lalaki at itinapon ako sa isang malapit na lamesa!

“Pag-usapan natin ito, Eury…” si Hubert ulit na tila walang nangyaring karahasan!

Tumilapon ako kasama ang mga kubyertos sa lamesang iyon. On the carpetted floor, I felt so helpless. My hair is a mess and my legs in tangled.

My head throbbed like mad. Ngunit kung hindi ako babangon ngayon, maaaring ito na ang katapusan ko. And I’d rather end my own life than give my doom to the people who did not deserve that power!

Nakita ko ang isang nakahigang bote, ilang dipa lang ang layo sa aking ulo. I reached for it. Kasabay ng pagtayo ay ang pag basag nito sa ulo ng pinakamalapit na lalaki sa akin!

The man groaned bleeding, holding his forehead. Down on his knees trying to stop the blood with his palms.

Hubert looked at me in anger and disbelief. Sinamantala ko ang pagkakataong iyon para tumakbo patungo sa pintuan.

“Baka makatakas!” sabi noong isang lalaki.

Ang putol ng bote ay nasa aking kamay pa. Inangat ko iyon at tinapat sa kanila.

“Sige! Lumapit kayo!” I cried.

My other hand is frantically trying to open the door’s lock. At noong nagawa ko ay kumaripas na ako ng takbo sa harap ng villa, sa isang masukal na kagubatan. Padalisdis at puno ng mga ligaw na halaman.

Beauty is not a bliss. Beauty is a curse in disguise of a blessing. I have loathed it for years. Tried to use it for myself. Ending up with my own destruction.

“These are my daughters,” I can hear father’s voice.

Namatay ang makina ng bangka sa kalagitnaan ng dagat. Mahinahon ang alon sa gabing iyon at ang lamig ay nanunuot sa aking mga buto. Hindi lang pagod ang nagpipigil sa aking gumalaw o dumilat. The coldness made my whole body numb. With only a piece of clothing, walang ibang paraan para maibsan ang lamig.

Tanging ang alon sa dagat ang narinig ko. It’s only a matter of time now before the waves violently crashes the boat until it sinks with it.

“Lyanna, my eldest. She’s interested with architecture. Siguro’y susunod sa yapak ng ko…” tumawa si Dad kasabay ng tawa noong matandang lalaking kaharap niya.

Yesterday, he told us that we’re expecting a bigtime visitor. His Filipino-Chinese client on his recent project. And they’re here with his other board members.

He told us to dress appropriately. To come only when we’re called. I did everything he said.

I curled my hair. Put a bit of make up on. Dressed in formal wear like my sisters and stayed in my room… waited for the call… that didn’t come.

“I’m sure your daughters are intelligent, Ephraim! Pareho ba naman kayong topnotcher ni Tria!” the old man said in amusement.

Huminga ako ng malalim at mas lalong dumikit sa dingding. Beside me is our expensive jar. I pretended to be its other variant. Only… breathing and feeling.

“Of course, they are! Consistent dean’s lister and top one ‘yan! I expect she’ll be graduating in Latin Honors!”
“Wow! Nice to meet you, Lyanna. Hoping to hire you in my company when you graduate!” ang matanda.
“Thank you, Mr. Lim. I’d be honored!” si Lyanna.

I imagine my sister’s graceful movements as she shake the hand of the old man. Walang kapintasang pormalidad. With her golden colored skin, long straight hair, high cheekbones, she looks too sophisticated and mature to still grace the halls of her school. Tila siya’y isa nang ganap na arkitekto kung makapagsalita, makagalaw, at makapag-isip.

“This is Reanne, she aspires to be a lawyer someday. Mana sa ina!” Dad proudly said.
“Hello, Reanne…” a female voice said. “You should aspire to be a judge, instead! Gaya ni Judge Saniel.”
Humalakhak si Mommy. “Oh, she has to be a lawyer first before that, Mrs. Lim,” Mommy’s voice is laced with pride even when she suggested humility.

Tumigil ang paa ko sa wala sa sariling paulit-ulit na munting hampas nito sa dingding sa aking likod. Hinintay ko ang mga susunod na sasabihin ni Mommy at Daddy. This isn’t the first time. But I’d always hope it would change. Like right now.

“She’s top of her class, too?” tanong ni Mrs. Lim.
“Yes! Actually, even without studying!” si Mommy.
“Oh how do you do that, hija? I might need that advice for my granddaughters!”

Lumayo ang boses nila, tila alam ko na kung anong nangyayari. They are advancing from our receiving area to our dining area.

Mommy laughed. “Well, they are very diligent at school…” patuloy niya sa sinasabi.
“You have a great house! As expected from the most in demand international architect!” si Mr. Lim naman kay Daddy.

I let out a long sigh. Bumaling sa pasilyo patungo sa isa pang hagdanang magdadala sa akin pabalik sa aking kwarto.

How come I wasn’t called? Did the maids forget about me?

O dapat bang ako na lang ang mismong bumaba ng mas maaga? But Dad clearly said that we should wait for his call.

“Aling Rosa,” tawag ko sa matandang kasambahay namin na kasalukuyang abala sa pagmamando sa iba pa.
“Oh, Eury?” the old woman turned to me.

Her specs slightly falling from her nose, inayos niya iyon gamit ang daliri. Ang puting buhok ay nakagapos sa isang malinis na pusod.

“Tinawag po ba ni Daddy sina… Ate Lyanna at Ate Reanne?”

Kitang-kita ko ang madramang pagkurap niya ng isang beses. She let out a long sigh and gave me her full attention. Nilagay niya sa aking balikat ang kanyang kamay, as if escorting me back to the staircase so I would go back to my room.

“Hija, huwag kang mag-alala. Sasabihin ko kay Ephraim na handa ka na. Tatawagin kita kapag inutos niya na. Hm?”

She smiled at me fakely. As if trying to convince me that her reasons were enough. Tumango ako. I gave her a convincing and enthusiastic nod. Na para bang tanga nga ako dahil nakaya ko pang ngumiti at tumango gayong mas malinaw pa sa sikat ng araw ang pahiwatig ng sinabi niya.

Dad did not call me. He called Lyanna and Reanne, my two trophy sisters. I never harbored ill feelings towards my sister. But in my mind, I made fun of myself by thinking that they were trophies and I’m the scandal my parents wanted to hide… or get rid of.

Of course, I tried my best to be an honor student, but I guess being on honor student requires talent. I don’t have that talent.

I stared blankly at the mirror. Tinagilid ko ang aking ulo habang tinitingnan ang aking mukha.

I completely assure you, though. I am a Saniel. I am daughter of Tria and Ephraim Saniel. I resembled my grandmomma on the paternal side. Fair and with almost foreign features -mga katangiang wala sa dalawa kong kapatid.

They’re both slender and tall. I am not exactly short, but I’m not as tall as them. With high cheekbones, jet black straight hair, narrow nose, thin lips, and wide eyes, they look like they could be twins. Their golden color from my father and brown eyes from my mother completed their look.

Mga bagay na iba sa akin. Dahil ako’y kasing puti ng papel, narrow nose but with full lips. My eyes hooded eyes made it appear chinky. My naturally brown hair made me look more foreign. And as much as I want to look skinny like my two sisters, I look a bit curvy.

Siguro nga… ang mga bagay na araw-araw mong pinapangarap ay iyong mga bagay na hindi mapapasayo. Siguro nga… ang mga bagay na para sa’yo ay iyong mga bagay na hindi mo kailanman pinangarap.

I wanted too look like my sisters. I wanted to have their talents. I dream, everyday, to have everything they have. Because I know that beauty is nothing but a useless commodity. Can be used to my advantage but I refuse the shallowness of its meaning.

But then pain got into me. My childhood heart couldn’t take the indifference.

“Ang ganda niya…” isang tinig ng batang lalaki ang narinig ko galing sa kung saan.

Nananaginip ba ako? Is this heaven? Is he an angel?

I am not sure but it is a possibility.

Naririnig ko ang tunog ng mga along humahampas sa tila dalampasigan. Ang lamig ay nahalinhinan ngayon ng init galing kung saan. Maliwanag at ang pagdilat ay tila kay hirap gawin sa ngayon.

Ang atake ng sinag ng araw sa aking mga mata ay masakit. I tried to move a finger. I hope I’m fully dressed now. I don’t want to look naked in front of the gatekeeper, whoever it is.

“Kuya Rod, tingnan mo ang nahanap ko!” sigaw ng batang lalaki.

Mariin kong pinikit ang mga mata ko. By instinct, I shielded my eyes with it from the rays of the sun.

I’m alive!

“Ano na naman ba, Milo. Kapag biro ‘to, kukutusan talaga kita!” sabi ng isang lalaki kung saan.
“Bilis, Kuya, mukhang gising na siya!” sabay tapik noong bata sa gilid ng aking bangka.
“What the… What the hell?!” he cursed too loud that it hurt my ears.

Unti-unti akong dumilat para makita ang paligid.

“Tawagin mo si Engineer Bodi at Vincent, Milo!” natatarantang sinabi noong lalaki.

I tried to shield my eyes from the rays of the mighty sun. Kita ko ang lalaking natataranta habang pinagsasabihan ang inosenteng bata na nasa paanan ko. Though the question was evident on the young boy’s eyes, he didn’t dare voice it out. Mabilis na itong tumakbo sa kung saan habang tinatawag ang mga tinukoy noong lalaki.

“Are you okay, Miss?” the man asked in a soft tone.

Pinasadahan niya ako ng tingin. Bumaling ako sa aking katawan at nakitang suot ko parin ang damit ko kagabi. Napunit iyon, kahit ang strap ng sleeves ngunit natabunan parin naman ang mga bahaging dapat ay natabunan.

Pilit akong bumangon para tuluyan nang tabunan ang aking katawan. Ang kaba ay unti-unting bumangon at agad kong sinuyod ang paligid.

“Nasaan ako?”

Clearly, this isn’t heaven! This could be somewhere in Romblon or something. Mas bumilis ang pintig ng puso ko sa matinding kaba. Maaaring narito sina Hubert! Maaaring…

Nilingon ko ang lalaking nanatiling mangha habang tinitingnan ako. Gusto akong hawakan pero hindi malaman kung saan. Kitang-kita ko kung paano niya gustong magsalita ngunit walang lumalabas sa kanyang bibig.

I hugged my chest in a defensive manner. The overwhelming fear got into me. Imagining Hubert’s face on this guy is terrifying.

Umurong ako hanggang sa nasa gilid na ng bangka.

“Maganda po! Nasa loob ng bangka!” naririnig ko ang bata na nag ku-kwento sa ‘di kalayuan. “Nakita ko kanina ‘yong bangka na palapit dito sa dalampasigan! Hinintay ko lang na dumaong bago tiningnan kung anong nasa loob! It’s a girl, Tito!”

Nilingon ko ang banda noong bata at nakita ko ang grupo ng mga naroon. Three men are with the kid, sa likod ng mga iyon ay dalawang babae. Isang mas bata at isang may katandaan. All were foreign to me. At least when I scanned them briefly.

Mabilis akong luminga-linga sa bangkang sinasakyan ko. Dumaong ito sa isang dalampasigang hindi ko alam kung saan. And all these time I thought it will be washed away by the waves and the ocean would sink me to oblivion.

Now I’m here!

Hindi na ako nagsalita. Tumayo ako ngunit ang mga sugat sa aking paa ay humapdi. Padarag akong napabalik sa dating posisyon. Pumikit ako ng mariin habang tinitingnan ang aking mga paang punong-puno ng sugat.

The large cut is bleeding. Hindi ko alam kung dapat ko ba iyong piliting dumugo pa o pigilan. Before I could decide, someone scooped me from the the small boat.

Large warm hand firmly held my thighs, the other one on my shoulders.

Kaba at takot sa traumang natamo ang bumuhos sa akin. Hindi ko na napigilan ang panginginig habang umiiyak at magpumiglas.

“Bitiwan mo ako! Bitiwan mo ako!” I said pleading.

I kicked and punched the man who’s holding me tight. Umilag siya sa kalmot na dapat ay iginawad ko sa kanyang mukha. Natigil siya sa paglalakad nang isang mabilis na sampal ang lumagitik sa kanyang panga.

His jaw clenched so tight habang iniilag niya ang kanyang mukha sa akin. Pumikit ako ng mariin, almost positive that I would get away by doing this.

“Huminahon ka, Miss. We’re not bad people,” banayad na sinabi ng isang babae.

I don’t believe in anything right now. Dapat ay noon ko pa ito alam. How many times do I have to fall prey before I finally realized all the lessons life has been throwing at me?

“Fuck you, you rapist! Bitiwan mo ako!” humikbi ako. “Stop touching me! Stop touching me! I hate you!!!”

My scream strained my throat. Ngunit hindi iyon ang nagpapapigil sa akin para magsisigaw… it’s my tears.

“Tatawag ako ng mga awtoridad,” sabi ng mas matandang babae.
“H’wag na, Wanda…” that low voice is from the man holding me.

Dahan-dahan akong huminahon. Determinadong marinig ulit ang boses. Nagbabakasakaling kung tumigil ako sa hingal at iyak ay mas lalo iyong maging klaro.

“Anong ibig mong sabihin, Vincent?” ang matanda.
“Vince, she’s hysterical. Nakita lamang siya ni Milo sa bangka. We don’t know who she is or where she’s from…” ang babaeng mas bata ang nagsalita.

I stopped breathing at the mention of his name. I’m not quite sure. I’m not… it can’t be.

“I know her.”

Namilog ang mga mata ko. Bumaling sa lalaking may hawak sa akin. The smouldering dark and intense eyes cloaked with lashes bore into me intensely. No concern, only gazing at me in an scornfully indifferent angle.

I stopped moving. How is this fucking possible?

“Wanda,” sabi ng babae na tila nagtatanong.
“Wala akong maaalalang taga Costa Leona na kamukha niya, Vincent. Baka ipinagkakamali mo lang ‘yan,” sabi ng matanda na tila hangin ako.
“How is that possible, Vince, when Milo said that the boat is from the ocean? Blown, perhaps, by the wind to the shores?”

Mas lalong humigpit ang hawak niya sa akin at nagsimula nang maglakad muli.

“Hindi ako pwedeng magkamali,” he said in a low tone, making me almost faint.

Like

Like
Love
Haha
Wow
Sad
Angry

1

Comments are closed.