Tripped – Kabanata 23

April 28, 2016 By In Tripped 8 Comments

Kabanata 23
Terms

Hindi ko alam kung anong una kong iisipin. Hindi ako makapaniwala na siya ang may ari nito. Siya nga ba?

He’s now a lawyer. But I’m sure it’s not yet a decade after he graduated. Where did he get the money? Isabella Thomas? Maybe he married Isabella Thomas and it’s their joint property. My chest ached at the thought. Isinantabi ko iyon dahil marami pang mas importanteng gagawin.

Nakatayo ako ngayon diretso sa kinatatayuan niya. I can’t look at him straight while he can definitely look at me in the eyes!

Maraming nagbago sa kanya. Ang aura niya ay mas lalong naging seryoso at malamig. Ang katawan niya ay malayong malayo sa katawan niya noon. True that he had mature features in terms of built years ago. But this time, it’s mature for real. His hair is clean cut. Ganoon naman dati pero parang may nag-iba ngayon. His jaw is tight and very angled and his eyes were very vivid.

Sa damit pa lang niya ngayon, kita na ang pamatay na hubog ng katawan niya. While I am not sure if something has changed in my physical features. For the past years, I didn’t really think about my body or my face. Sa dami ng problema ko, iyon pa ba ang pagkakaabalahan ko?

“Ano ang gusto mong pag-usapan natin?” tanong niya.

Fuck. He really is the owner of our land?

“Uh…” I’m trying so hard not to stutter. “You’re the new owner of the house?”

Tinagilid niya lang ang ulo niya. Tila ba pilit na iniintindi ang sinabi ko. Is it so hard to understand, Riguel! Don’t. Fucking. Look. At. Me. Like. That.

Naaalala ko iyong sa batis. How I tried him. How his patience was tried and how he gave in to me. It was what I want at that moment. And I don’t regret any of it. Ngayon, sa tingin niya, para bang gusto niyang pagsisihan ko iyon. It’s as if it’s the biggest mistake of his life!

“I paid the half. That’s what my broker and your Dad talked about. I’ll give the half if the title is transfered to my name.”

I cannot believe this. Hindi ko alam kung magkano ang benta ni Daddy sa bahay namin pero alam ko nasa seven digits iyon. Riguel who used to ride with me in a tricycle can now afford that? Well, he’s in the corporate world! Plus! He’s a Lawyer for God’s sake… But it’s just so unbelievable!

“Gusto ko sanang… itigil ang deal,” sabi ko.

Umigting ang panga ni Riguel at kumalas ang kanyang halukipkip. Nakapamulsa na siya ngayon.

“Bakit?”
“Ayaw kong ibenta ito. Nagipit lamang kami kaya namin ito ibinenta. I’m gonna pay the half back after around six months.”

And oh my God, I hope I can really do that. Mangungutang ako kung maaari!

“I’m gonna talk to my Dad’s lawyer. Ang sabi ni Tito ay nasa lawyer daw ang kopya ng Deed of Sale so I’ll know how much I’m going to pay you back.”
“What if I don’t want that?” nagtaas siya ng kilay.

Tinikom ko ang bibig ko. Bahagya akong nairita sa tunog niya. Tila ba naghahamon at ginagalit niya ako.

Naisip ko tuloy kung anong iniisip niya noong iniwan ko siya. Tingin ko naman ay hindi ganoon ka lalim para masaktan ang nangyari. In his part, he had Isabella Thomas. He probably liked me but he can’t get anything from me so he’d still choose Isabella, right? Kaya kung ang galit na nakikita ko sa mga mata niya ngayon ay dahil sa paghihiganti, hindi ko na iyon maintindihan.

“I will talk to my lawyer. I’m sure he can do something about thatg. After all, it’s not yet on your name…”
“Why don’t you talk to me instead? I’m a lawyer.”

Ngumisi siya. Kinilabutan ako roon. Ramdam ko ang pagtindig ng balahibo ko sa batok.

“Hindi lang ito ang gusto kong bawiin. Pati na rin ang plantation.”
“I’m gonna triple the price of the plantation if you want to buy it…” nagtaas siya ng kilay.

What the fuck? Triple. I can’t even afford it now tapos titriplehin niya?

“Why are you doing this?” malamig kong tanong.

Ayaw ko sanang dalhin ang problema namin noon dito kaso hindi ko kayang pakinggan ang sinasabi niya ngayon. This is plain bull crap!

“This is our land, Riguel.”
“It was your land. You left it here to rot alone!”

Humakbang siya palapit. Parang nawala ang aking tapang sa ginawa niya. Napakurap-kurap ako. No, Lilienne. You can’t feel anything. Not even anger for him. All I can give him is indifference!

“I saved it!”
“Kaya nga babawiin ko ito ngayon. Bakit mo sinasabing titriplehin mo ang singil nito?”
“Dahil ako ang naghirap para rito habang wala kayo! And it is not for sale, mind you. I’m only giving you a chance because we know each other before…”

Para akong binagsakan ng langit sa sinabi niya. Nanghina ako roon. That was it, right? We just know each other before. And why is this such a big deal to me. He is nothing but the new owner of our properties.

“Then? Dapat ba akong mag thank you? Sa pagtriple mo sa tamang presyo nito?”
“Dapat nga hindi triple. Dapat higit pa! Nakita mo ba ang kalagayan ng lupain n’yo nang nirentahan ko ito sa Daddy mo? Walang tanim. Hindi mataba. Ginawa ko ang lahat para maiahon iyan tapos ngayon babawiin mo na lang dahil maayos na?”
“Well, I’m sorry. It was your duty to make the lands better again because you rented it. Hindi ka naman namin pinilit na gawin iyan. Ikaw ang gumawa niyan!”

Tumawa siya at umiling. Tinalikuran niya ako at lumapit siya sa kanyang swivel chair. Bumagsak siya roon at pinaglaruan niya ang kanyang ballpen.

“Look at you. Your looks have changed a lot. But hell, you’re the same spoiled girl I know.”

Napahugot ako ng hininga roon. His remarks affected me a lot. My looks have changed? In what way? And I’m a spoiled girl, really? Girl. That term. He really likes to slap it to me, huh?

“Ikaw na nga itong lumapit para mambawi, ikaw pa itong may terms. Remember, Lilienne. The plantation is now under my name. If I don’t want to sell it, you can’t have it. And this house? Your dad signed the contract. You have no right to it now. Kaya huwag mo masyadong itaas ang sarili mo.”

Fuck you, Riguel. Nangilid ang luha ko. Pakiramdam ko ay sobra sobra na ang pamumula ko dahil sa galit. Gusto ko siyang pagmumurahin pero alam kong may punto siya.

Wala na ba talagang pag-asa para makuha ko ito? Kahit ito man lang? Kahit ang bahay man lang? Tapos mag-iipon ako para sa tripleng hinihingi niya sa lupa?

Nag-iwas siya ng tingin sa akin. Tumunog ang cellphone niya. Umangat saglit ang matalim niyang tingin sa akin bago sinagot iyon.

“Yes, Zarah, what is it?”

Tumagilid ang swivel chair niya. Nanatili ang mga mata ko sa kanya. Pumatak ang luha ko at agad ko iyong pinunasan. I can’t cry in front of him!

“Yup. I know. I remember.”

Hinilot ni Riguel ang kanyang sentido at tumingala siya. Mas lalo akong nairita nang nakita ko ang angulong iyon. He could put to shame Grecian gods because of that chiseled features but damn him!

“Kasalanan ko iyon. Gumagawa ako ng paraan-”

And I’m here listening to his phone call. Gusto ko siyang batuhin ng bag sa galit ko pero kailangan kong tandaan na iba na siya ngayon. He may be a little patient to me years ago but right now, he seems so distant and mad.

“Sige. Connect me to Isabella. Thanks.”

And of course, right? Fuck this one!

“Babalik na lang ako. I need to talk to my lawyer. I need to see the Deed of Sale and the contracts.”

Nilingon ako ni Riguel at tinaas niya ang kanyang index finger. Like he wants me to stay. He’s not done with me.

“Isabella, yes…”

Nagtiim bagang ako. Do I really need to stand here in front of him while listening to his phone calls from his girlfriend?

“Ako na ang bahala na maghanap ng paraan. Don’t worry about it… Okay. I need to go. I have a meeting. See you soon…”

Binaba niya ang cellphone niya at tumayo ulit. Bumalik siya sa paghilig sa mesa kanina at humalukipkip ulit sa akin.

“I have a copy of the Deed of Sale. Yes, you can go to your lawyer if you don’t trust me. Pero… ano ang gagawin mo kung hindi ako papayag na ipagbili sa’yo ang lupang ito?”

Fuck you. Really. Fuck you, Riguel. I wish you rot in hell.

“Why are you doing this to me? Is this an asset to you para balewalain ang sentimental value nito sa akin?”
“Any real property, Lilienne, is an asset. Hindi man ito kumikita tulad ng plantation, in the end, it still is an asset.”
“You have a house somewhere near here. Bakit ‘di ka roon tumira at bakit hindi mo kayang bitiwan ito?”
“It’s near my plantation. You know. Kapag harvest, kailangan nandito ako para tingnan kung maayos ba. I’m sure you know that.”

Tangina mo. His expression is hard and ruthless. Wala akong masabi kundi tangina niya talaga. Sorry for the language.

“Why are you doing this? Huh, Riguel?”

Kumunot lamang ang noo ni Riguel habang tinitingnan ako. Nangingilid ang luha sa aking mga mata at pinipigilan ko ang pagbuhos nila. You can’t let him see your weakness, Lilienne.

“If you’re doing this for revenge, sana maging masaya ka!”

Tumawa si Riguel at tumingala. His adam’s apple protruded. All the evil curses are already at the tip of my tongue.

“Why would I do that, Lilienne? Anong revenge ang sinasabi mo? Come on… Hindi na tayo mga bata rito. Alam kong nagmature ka rin kahit paano.”

Bumaba ang tingin niya sa aking katawan. Kumunot ang noo ko.

“Hindi ko alam kung bakit ka pa narito gayong tingin ko naman ay maayos na ang kalagayan mo sa ibang bansa. If you want this land, why did you sell it in the first place. Now that I don’t want to sell it, you come here and ask me to sell it to you? After all those years? Na pinaghirapan kong iahon ang plantation para lang mabili ko iyon ng buo? Where’s revenge in that? Huh?”

Humakbang siya palapit sa akin. Ngayon ay tumigas na lang ang puso ko. Hindi na ako natinag. All I can see is the new Riguel. The Rigel Alleje I didn’t know about. The Riguel within him that he did not let me see. This is probably the same Riguel who used Isabella for him to bloom like this.

“Simpleng business lang ito, Lilienne. Bakit mo naisip na kaya kong itagilid ang sarili ko para lang sa’yo? Sa’yo na ngayon lang ulit nagpakita at para pa bawiin ang akin na ngayon?”
“Fuck you…” mariin kong sinabi.

Isang metro na lang ang layo naming dalawa.

He smirked.

“I don’t know why you feel so entitled. Na tingin mo after all those years, after what I did with this land, you think I’d bow and give it back to you that easily? No…” Umiling siya.

Fuck you, Riguel Jameson Alleje! Fuck you to the depths of hell!

“Is it your spoiled attitude?”
“Kung ayaw mong ibigay sa akin ito, e ‘di ibabalik ko sa’yo ang kalahati ng perang binayad mo kay Dad para sa mansyon!”
“Paano kung ‘di ko tanggapin. The tax declaration is on my name now. We are only waiting for the Title, Lili.”

Bumagsak ang balikat ko. I want to punch him. Pilit kong itinabi ang alaala ng aking pamilya. Si Yeshua na ito lamang ang tanging hiniling sa akin at hindi ko pa maibigay.

Tumagilid ang ulo niya.

“I have a proposition, actually. But that’s if you want this mansion so bad…”

Ayaw ko man ay umaliwalas ang mukha ko. Nilunok ko ang pride ko para lang pakinggan ang kanyang sasabihin. If there’s any chance that I can get this back, then I’ll get this back no matter what. If Riguel wants me hurt so bad then I’ll help him hurt me! Tutal ay hindi naman ito para sa akin. Para ito sa pamilya ko. Para man lang kahit paano aay may magawa akong tama para sa kanila!

“Do you want this so bad?”

He closed the distance between us through his hungry steps. Gusto kong umatras dahil hindi ko yata kakayanin ang tensyon pero dahil sa offer niya ay pinilit kong huwag.

Nag-iwas ako ng tingin. Takas na buhok ang hinuli niya sa gilid ng aking pisngi at nilagay niya sa likod ng aking tainga.

I feel nothing for him but loathe. How I thought I love him way back breaks my heart.

“Lilienne, do you want this so bad?” mariin niyang tanong.
“What’s your proposition?”
Nagtaas siya ng kilay at ngumisi. “Sagutin mo ang tanong ko.”

Fuck you.

“Yes. I want this mansion back.”
“Are you willing to do anything just to get this back, then?”

Ano ‘yan? Matalim ko siyang tinitigan. Hindi na ako nagdalawang isip. Whatever he asks of me, I’ll give it to him. As long as I get this one back!

“Yes, I’m willing.”
“Good.”

Inangat niya ang baba ko para maharap ko siya ng mabuti.

“Marry me, then.”

Nalaglag ang panga ko sa sinabi niya. Gusto ko siyang suntukin. Kung ‘di lang ang bahay ang nakasalalay ay ginawa ko na.

“Bakit? Kung bayaran na lang kita. Give me six months to produce the money, Riguel…”

Hinawi ko ang kamay niya sa baba ko. He smiled devilishly. I hated it.

“This isn’t for sale.”
“And you being married to me is okay?”

His face hardened. Para bang ininsulto ko siya.

“A friend of mine who is a judge invited me to his place. He’s only impressed to lawyers who are good at marraige and family. I need him as my adviser and I want to be a judge someday, too. Hindi niya ako magugustuhan kung pupunta ako roong bachelor. Hindi niya ako tutulungan at ayaw kong magaya sa ibang lawyer na minsang pinangarap na maging adviser siya.”

Gusto kong masuka sa sinabi ni Riguel. Ganyan ba siya ka desperado at gutom sa kapangyarihan at posisyon para sariling kasal niya ay kaya niyang pekein?

“You’re disgusting…” mariin kong sinabi.
Umangat ang gilid ng kanyang labi. “Do you want this land or not?”

For the a millionth time, fuck you.

“Am I going to just pretend to be your wife?”
“Yes. And we need to marry, too. Sa papel, Lilienne. I can’t risk it. Paano kung paimbestigahan niya ako at malaman na wala sa dokumento ang kasal natin? That would be useless plus he’d hate me for lying. People hate liars, you know.”

Nagtiim bagang ako sa sinabi niya. So what, right?

“I can file a divorce after everything.”

Bahala ka sa buhay mo kung ‘di ka na makapag-asawa pagkatapos nito. Basta ako, pu-pwede pa sa ibang bansa.

“Paano ako makakasigurong mapapasa akin ang mansyong ito pagkatapos ng lahat, Riguel?”
“I’ll make a contract. I’m gonna let a friend sign in between us. And I’ll give you my copy of the Deed of Sale. Ilalakad ko rin ang Tax Declaration pabalik sa’yo…”

Oh my God, Lilienne. That seems pretty promising.

If he wants to use me for power, then I can use him to get our land back.

“What about the plantation, Riguel?”

Humagalpak siya sa tawa.

“Easy, baby. Mansyon lamang ang pinag-uusapan natin dito. Bakit ko ibibigay sa’yo ang isa sa dahilan kung bakit nakakabili ako ng mga properties ngayon?”

Oh just fuck him, really.

“Eventually, we’ll talk about that. For now, this is going to be my offer to you.”

Madilim ang kanyang tingin sa akin. Matalim ang isinukli ko. He’d become so hungry for power and money. I should have known. Men as ambitious as him clearly loves power and money. He’s not an exception. And I’m gonna use that to get this mansion back.

“Kailangan nating ayusin ang kontrata na gagawin mo. If you want me to act as your wife, I can, but with limitations.”
“Whoa! Like what? You can’t kiss me? Ganoon? Paano natin mapapaniwala ang mga tao na asawa kita kung ni halik ay ‘di mo papaunlakan? Come on, Lilienne. I’ve kissed you before. Don’t tell me it still affects you.”
“It doesn’t, Riguel. Nakakasuka lang talaga, e. Kaya ‘di ko alam kung kakayanin ko ba.”

Kitang kita ko ang galit sa kanyang mga mata.

“I’m gonna make the terms right now. Do you want this, then?”

Tumitig pa ako sa kanya bago ako sumagot. Can I really do this?

Lili, chance na ‘yan para sa lupa. Isa pa… pwede kang makipag divorce. You can file that eventually. Siya ang magdurusa dahil wala namang divorce rito sa Pinas!

“Yes. I want to see your terms and I’ll approve it before you let the other third party sign,” sabi ko.
“I’m marrying you tomorrow, then.”
“What?” pasigaw kong sinabi. “Bakit? Kailan ka ba inimbitahan ng judge na sinasabi mo, Riguel, at bakit bukas agad?”
“Bakit? Kailan tayo magpapakasal? Sa araw bago tayo umalis papunta kay Judge? Are you kidding me, Lilienne?”

Napakurap-kurap ako roon. Tinalikuran niya ako at bumalik siya sa kanyang swivel chair. Hinilot niya ang kanyang sentido at binuksan ang laptop.

“I’m gonna make our terms right now. Umupo ka muna riyan…”

Nilingon ko ang sofa at dahan-dahang lumapit para makaupo.

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8 Responses to Tripped – Kabanata 23

  1. Ang atat mo naman masyado Riguel, halatang mahal mo parin si Lili no? Hahaha

  2. Hoy Atty. Riguel Jameson Alleje! Wag nga kame. Para-paraan ka lang kay Lili eh. Sus. Ang bilis ng galawan mo ah. Pero gusto ko yan. LiGuel tayo. Hahahaha!

  3. Jusko dzong kalami nimo patamnan ug mga bulak pangpatay hahahaha

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