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The Third Part of

A Little Help from Destiny


An original story
Written by
uknowulovemary
Copyright 2014 by uknowulovemary
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted i
n any form or by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior wri
tten permission of the author.
Read my stories at http://uknowulovemary-stories.blogspot.com/
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Visit my Wattpad profile at http://www.wattpad.com/user/uknowulovemary
a little help from destiny
3 | P a g e
Contents:
Chapter 33
A Dream About Him
Chapter 34 Back to School
Chapter 35 Mistakes are what makes us human
Chapter 36 Don t Say Goodbye
Chapter 37 Saying Goodbye to Allen
Chapter 38 The Family Holidays
Chapter 39 Being Bold and Daring
Chapter 40 The First and Last Dance
Chapter 41 Decisions Have to be Made
Chapter 42 Nian s Sex Exploits
Chapter 43 The Dreamer and the Realist
Chapter 44 Graduation
Chapter 45 When Life Proves to be Unfair
Chapter 46 The Final Help from Destiny
Epilogue
Excerpt from Fighting Destiny
Author s Note
a little help from destiny
4 | P a g e
Chapter33
A Dream about Him
I am in the playground where I used to play with Louie when we were young, the p
lace where I
first met him. Through the years, the playground never changed except for the pa
int but overall
the park never changed, be it the fountain in the middle of the playground that
never worked
or the tree house and the sandbox where kids used to play.
I cherish the thought of the playground never changing; it makes me feel that no
thing would
ever change, that like the playground my friendship with Louie would never chang
e. We would
never change.
It always serves as a reminder that some things would never change, that no matt
er how it does
aesthetically, it would always be the same. Like the tree house, it would always
be the
headquarters of the little troops gathering around every noon. Though every year
the
community would change the paint, it is still the same, it would always be the p
lace where
children or even adults could find solace.
I sit under the tree that housed the tree house. I was always too afraid to go u
p to the tree house

because I was scared that I would eventually fall but then Louie would hold my h
and, smile at
me and reassure me that I would never fall. That he would never let me fall.
He would always say things like that. The things that I feared, he would always
be there to hold
my hand and just be by my side protecting me from those fears of mine. I looked
up to him
because he was the only one who could carry all my fears and believe me there we
re tons of it.
Some say a little girl?s first hero is her father but for me it was Louie. He wa
s my hero and my
prince. He would slay dragons for me, I was certain of that.
I smile as I l close my eyes and feel the fresh air in my face and the wind blow
ing my hair; the
playground is quiet and peaceful. One of the many things I love about the playgr
ound is this: it is
always peaceful and calm. Hearing the distant laughter of the other kids and the
rustic noise the
seesaw would produce whenever someone?s on it could somehow make me calm. For me
this is
peace.
a little help from destiny
5 | P a g e
Mary. I hear Louie called my name, I would always know that voice even in a thousa
nd
crowds I would always know whom the voice belonged to and I miss that voice so m
uch. I open
my eyes and there right in front of me is Louie smiling down at me.
I smile back at him. Louie. He keeps on smiling as he sits beside me, he takes my
hand and just
holds on it. I don?t let go. I can?t. I missed the warmth his hands could give m
e. Anong
ginagawa mo dito? I ask him.
He looks around the playground so do I and find out we?re completely alone. Ther
e is no
laughter in the sandbox and no one is playing at the seesaw and slide. We are ut
terly alone. I
wish it could go on forever.
Dahil nandito ka at kailangan mo ako.
I look at him puzzled. Ibig bang sabihin nun hindi mo na ako iiwan?
I never left you, Mary. He says tenderly. Palagi akong nasa tabi mo. Hindi ako nawa
la. he
adds and as he looks at me, I see so much sadness in his eyes.
I don?t like to see him sad. Louie was never sad. He always smiled, even when fa
cing a problem
he would smile. Then why do I miss you so much? I ask him. Why does it hurt when I
think of
you? Bakit hindi kita makita?
It s how it works now. he says sadly. Lagi akong nasa tabi mo at binabantayan ka kaso
ngayon hindi mo na ako makikita pa. Hindi na ako yung taong sasandalan mo tuwing
iiyak ka
dahil ako na yung dahilan kung bakit ka umiiyak at nasasaktan.
He tries to let go of my hand but I tug it tightly, I couldn?t let go of him aga
in. He is here
now. He?s back. I can be with him again. Diba sabi mo dati ayaw na ayaw mong maki
ta
akong umiiyak at nasasaktan? Sabi mo nun, gagawin mo ang lahat wag lang akong um
iyak
kaya pwede ba tuparin mo yun? At wag mo na akong iwan pang ulit. I don t want to b
e alone

again Louie. I say as I let the tear slide.


a little help from destiny
6 | P a g e
He brushes the tear away as his hand lingers in my face. You re not alone.
But I am. Louie kailangan kita. Kailangan na kailangan kita, hindi ko na alam kun
g kaya ko pa
kaya pwede bang wag mo na ulit akong iwan? Please?
Slowly he lifts our hands together and places it in my chest. He smiles at me. I m
just right here.
I m sorry if I couldn t be there with you but I m just right here and I will always wa
it for you.
I shake my head no. I don t want you to wait. I want to be with you now.
Kailangan mong lumaban pa Mary. Marami ka pang dapat makita at gusto kong maranas
an
mo lahat ng mga bagay na hindi ko na magagawa kasama ka. Kailangan mo pang lumab
an.
Kailangan mong maging malakas. Hindi naman ako mawawala Mary, nandito lang ako.
Hindi
ako aalis, hihintayin kita. Sabay tayo. He lets go of my hand.
I try to hold it back but he shakes his head and smiles at me. Promise hihintayin
mo ako? I cry.
He nods smiling at me. Promise. He stands up and reaches for my hand. I take it an
d he helps
me stand up. Wag kang susuko kahit anong mangyari Mary. You have to be strong. Do
n t let
your fears eat you up, tandaan mo lang yung sinasabi ko sayo dati.
I nod. Even in the darkness, the moon and stars would always light up your way ti
ll the sun
shines. You are not alone. I recite the words he used to tell me.
With darkness, comes the moon that would lead me to find you. Louie says. But now h
e would
be there to find you. he adds, he kisses me on the forehead and whispers. I will w
ait for you.
And then he?s gone.
***
a little help from destiny
7 | P a g e
I wake up feeling sore, my throat seems dry. I look around my surrounding and le
arn that I am in
a hospital room. Wala akong matandaan sa mga nangyari, hindi ko nga alam kung ba
kit ako
nasa hospital.
Ang alam ko lang umiiyak ako kay Karl nung araw na nalaman ko yung ginawa nila P
at at Kim
at dumating si mom, nakita niyang hawak hawak ko yung basag na salamin. Oh, righ
t.
I remember it all.
I remember how my mother looked at me that moment. Pero hindi ko na matandaan yu
ng
nangyari pagkatapos.
Until now, the betrayal of the two people I considered as my best friends still
stings. Hindi na nga
siguro mawawala yung sakit na dinulot nila sa akin. Pero wala rin naman magagawa
kung
magmamaktol lang ako. It is time for me to stand up for myself.
So what if my best friend betrayed me? It s not the worse that ever happened to me
. I ve
experienced worst.
"Gising ka na." napatingin ako sa may pinto kung saan nanggaling yung boses ni K
arl. Sinara

niya yung pinto at naglakad palapit sa akin. Dun ko lang din napansin na may dal
a dala siyang
box ng cupcakes. Nginitian niya ako bago siya umupo sa gilid ng kama. "Gusto mo?
" alok niya
sa akin.
Umiling ako. "Tubig." sabi ko, nanunuyo na talaga yung lalamunan ko at ang sakit
magsalita.
Agad naman kumilos si Karl at nilagyan ako na isang paper cup ng tubig. Inabot n
iya sa akin
yung tubig at ininom ko naman agad ito. Pagkatapos ay inabot ko pabalik kay Karl
yung paper
cup, ngumiti siya bago niya nilagay sa bedside table yung baso. "Cupcake?"
Tumango ako at nakita kong nakangiti parin si Karl. Kumuha siya ng paper plate s
a gilid bago
niya binuksan yung box. Kumuha siya ng isang red velvet at nilagay sa paper plat
e bago inabot
sa akin. "Thank you." I murmured.
a little help from destiny
8 | P a g e
Kinain ko na rin yung cupcake na binigay niya dahil pakiramdam ko gutom na gutom
ako. Na
para bang ilang araw din akong hindi nakain.
Pagkatapos kong kumain ay humiga na ulit ako at tumingin lang sa ceiling ng kwar
to, gusto
kong magtanong kay Karl kaso natatakot ako sa mga isasagot niya.
Nagulat ako nung biglang tumayo si Karl kaya agad akong tumingin sa kanya. "Tata
wagan ko
lang sila tita." paliwanag niya at tumango nalang ako. Lumabas na rin siya ng kw
arto ko at
naiwan akong nakatingin sa ceiling.
Gusto ko ng umuwi. Ilang araw kaya ako dito ulit? Sobrang dami ko ng nami-miss n
a class at
siguro hinahanap na naman ako ng mga kaklase ko.
Mga ilang minuto ay pumasok si Karl na may kasamang doktor. Karl looked so apolo
getic, na
para bang may kasalanan siyang ginawa sa akin.
Lumapit yung doktor sa akin at ngumiti bago ito umupo dun sa upuan katabi ng kam
a ko. May
hawak hawak siyang parang journal at ballpen. Tumingin ulit ako kay Karl at dun
ko na talaga
naintindihan kung bakit mukhang gumawa ng ikakagalit ko si Karl.
They want me to talk to a shrink.
"You can leave us now, Karl." the shrink says to Karl.
Karl shoots me another apologetic look, I brush it off by staring back at the ce
iling. Narining ko
nalang yung pagbukas at pagsara ng pinto.
"Hello, Mary. I'm Dr. Collins."
Hindi ko siya pinansin at patuloy lang sa pagtingin sa ceiling, dun ko nga lang
din nalaman na
may mga crack pala talaga yung ceiling at yung mga crack na yun akala mo mga bit
uin.
Binilang ko yung mga crack pampalipas oras din. Mabo-bored din siguro tong dokto
r na to at
iiwanan na niya ako mag-isa.
Diba isang oras lang naman ang bawat session, so may 58 minutes pa. I could do i
t. I could stay
mum for an hour if it would make her go away. I don t want to talk to anyone. I am
fine. I m not
crazy.
a little help from destiny

9 | P a g e
Matagal tagal din yung katahimikan at na-bored na ako sa pagtitig sa ceiling kay
a sa may
bintana naman ako tumingin, umuulan pala. Ang weird, December na December pero
umuulan.
Nagbuntong hininga ako nung wala na akong maisip na gawin. Nabo-bored na talaga
ako.
Gusto kong gumalaw at tumayo kaso nandito pa yung doktor.
"I'm fine with the silence, Mary."
"Did Aunt Sachi recommend you?" tanong ko sa kanya.
"Yes, she did. I flew as soon as I was able." sagot niya sa akin. Bakit naman ni
ya gagawin yun?
Hindi naman ako ganun kaimportante para pumunta siya sa Pilipinas para lang sa a
kin. My
mother no doubt paid her handsomely for her to fly here in Manila.
"You know you're wasting your time. I will not talk to you. I don't need to." I
tell her. "You might as
well go back to US."
Ngumiti lang siya sa akin. "This is usual for me Mary. My patients, for the firs
t session they won't
talk. I am quite used with it."
"There will be no second session. I will talk to my " I stop. My mother hired her.
I still remember
how mom looked at me that night. She really thought I need this. At kahit anong
pakiusap ko sa
kanya, hindi siya papayag. "I don't need you. I don't have a problem." I say exa
sperated with
everything. "I'm not crazy." hindi ko alam kung kanino ko to sinabi, kung para s
a akin ba o para
sa kanya. Ang alam ko lang kailangan ko lang tong linawin. Hindi ako nababaliw.
"I didn't say you are." she says, "Your parents just wanted to make sure you're
alright. You tried to
kill yourself."
I smile ruefully."I was just holding on to the glass." sabi ko sabay tingin sa k
amay ko, may
bandage ito dahil siguro sa higpit ng paghawak ko dito.
"Why are you holding the glass in the first place?" she asked.
a little help from destiny
10 | P a g e
At dun ko narealize ang ginagawa niya. Eto yung isang paraan niya na malasabi ko
sa kanya
yung nangyari, tatanungin niya ako ng tatanungin na mukhang nagtatanong lang siy
a, o
sasagutin lang niya yung mga sinasabi ko pero sa form ng isang tanong din. She's
good.
But I won't fall for that.
"Karl almost sat on it." I lie, "I don't have a problem, and I was just having a
really bad day. I
know what exactly you're doing here. This is a psychiatric evaluation. There's a
lot more to come
than this right? But let me tell you now, I'm not mentally disable. So you can s
top here. Stop trying
to diagnose me with some mental disorder." I tell her, "I may be physically sick
but I'm not
crazy."
"This isn't a psych evaluation Mary."
But it is. My mother wouldn't just call for a psychiatrist just for me to talk t
o someone. Above
anything else, my mother values her image among her peers. Her daughter talking
to a shrink is

not something she could proudly admit to her peers. After all, haggang ngayon cl
ose-minded
parin ang mga Filipino. They'd judge right away.
And after everything my mother did to hide about my childhood, she wouldn t just d
o this.
"Even then, I won't talk to you. I don't need to tell some stranger why I was ho
lding that glass."
"I thought you were just holding it because Karl almost sat on it?"
That caught me off guard.
Tinignan ko siya at ngumiti siya. Yung ngiti na alam niyang nagkamali ako ng sab
i sa kanya.
"I was. But you asked me earlier and you're a stranger." I tell her. Tinignan ko
yung wall
clock. "Look, time's up." I beam at her.
a little help from destiny
11 | P a g e
She sighs and rises from her seat. "I will leave this card here. I will be here
in Manila for a week so
call me if you decide you want to talk." she says as she placed her card at the
bedside table.
Hindi ako nagsalita at pinagmasdan ko lang siyang lumakad palabas. Nung nasa may
pinto na
siya bigla akong nagsalita. "Even if my mother's paying you, I'm still your pati
ent right? So you
won't kiss and tell?"
"Yes Mary, I won't tell anyone. Physician-patient privilege prevents me." she te
lls me smiling. Then
her first turns serious. "Mary, I know you don't want to talk about it but you h
ave to. You can talk
about it to anyone if you really don't want me but you can't always keep it in y
ourself." she says,
but she's wrong, I could keep it in myself. I have done it a million times. "Som
eday you will crack."
"Are you implying that someday I will go crazy if I keep everything with myself?
" I ask skeptical
about what she just said.
She smiles. "No. I just meant that someday it would weigh you down. All those pe
nt up frustrations
will burst out and it might be too late to save yourself."
"What do you mean by that exactly?"
"Imagine you are falling off the cliff, you find something to hold on to keep yo
u from falling but
then your weight starts to pull you down and even if you scream for help no one
would hear you
because no one even knows you're in a cliff. Once the rope breaks you will fall
and no one
could save you."
"Don't you therapists tell your patients not to fear falling? Because there woul
d be someone on
the other side to catch you?" I ask mocking her.
"But as I told you, no one knows you're in a cliff, let alone in a verge of fall
ing." She points
out. "Don't keep it in yourself. You don't want to fall to the cliff. It'll hurt
and you can never go up.
You could try but you will never reach the top unless someone finds you but in y
our case, you
didn't want to be found." she then leaves.
I want to tell her I want to fall that cliff. Maybe it'd be easier.
a little help from destiny
12 | P a g e

I push my knees up and curl into a ball. Alam kong may punto siya sa lahat ng si
nabi niya kanina.
Within an hour, nalaman niyang tinatago ko sa sarili ko yung lahat ng nararamdam
an ko, siguro
nga tama siya na hindi magandang isaloob ko sa sarili ko lahat lahat pero kanino
ko naman
sasabihin yung lahat?
No one would even listen to me. No matter how hard I try to talk, they won't hea
r me. No one
ever did. What would ever change now right?
I would always be alone.
It would be right not to depend on someone else when I know that they re going lea
ve soon.
a little help from destiny
13 | P a g e
Chapter34
Back to School
Nakalabas na rin ako ng hospital pagkatapos ng maraming tests muna. Hindi pa uli
t
nagpapakita si Doctor Collins sa akin, siguro na-realize na niya talaga na hindi
ng hindi ako
kakausap sa isang shrink na katulad niya. Hindi ko kailangan ng tulong.
Ilang beses din sinubukan ni Kim na kausapin ako kaso lagi kong nire-reject yung
tawag niya.
Wala naman akong sasabihin sa kanya. Hindi ko lang talaga kaya pang kausapin si
Kim, hindi
nga ako sure kung dadating yung panahon na makakaya ko na. I don't do well with
betrayals.
Kasi binigay ko na yung tiwala ko tas parang ganun lang kadali na baliin yung ti
walang yun. I
made myself vulnerable to him by trusting him but in the end, he stomped on that
trust. Mahirap
i-build ang trust para sa akin. Sabi nga ni Louie dati sa akin, may trust issues
ako. Siguro nga
meron pero ganun na ako lumaki.
Para sa akin ang pinakamahalaga sa relationship ng mga tao sa isa't isa ay ang t
iwala nila sa
isa't isa. Matatawag ka bang kaibigan kung hindi ka nagtitiwala sa taong yun? Yo
u might as
well call that someone a stranger.
That's why for me, trust should be well-earned. And once you gain someone's trus
t, don't do
something that would break that trust. It's not replaceable.
Papasok na ulit ako ngayon sa school at excited na talaga akong pumasok, dahil s
a school
natatago ko yung mga problema ko by simply appearing cheerful to all of them. It
would
clearly take my mind off silly things.
Nagbihis na ako para sa school at tinawag si Yaya para suklain yung buhok ko at
itali ng
maayos. Yeah I know what you guys are thinking, bakit hindi nalang ako yung mag
suklay sa
sarili kong buhok? Well, simple lang ang sagot diyan, napakahaba ng buhok ko at
ang hirap
hirap suklain.
a little help from destiny
14 | P a g e
Akala mo porke't mahaba ito at straight na straight yung buhok ko hindi na to na
gbubuholbuhol.
Pero ang tooto niyan, pagkatapos kong maligo, buhol buhol na yung buhok ko kahit

anong conditioner pa yan. Kaya nagpapasuklay ako kay Yaya dahil siya lang yung m
ay tiyaga
sa buhok ko na hindi ako nasasaktan sa pagsuklay.
"Ayan mukha ng prinsesa." sabi ni Yaya na nakatingin sa akin gamit yung vanity m
irror ng
kwarto ko. Tinirintas niya yung buhok ko na parang head band at yung natirang bu
hok ay itali
niya as a bun.
Ngumiti ako kay Yaya, masaya na naalala niya yung sinabi ko sa kanya dati. "Than
k you
Yaya." sabi ko sa kanya.
She pats my shoulder and smiles at me."Basta ba't makita kang nakangiti ulit." s
abi niya sa
akin."Baba ka na, hinanda na ni Ate Luz yung almusal mo."
Tumango at tumayo na rin at lumabas ng kwarto ko. "Paki tanggal sa saksak yung c
ell phone
ko Ya ah." sigaw ko nung nasa labas na ako ng kwarto. I skip over the stairs sa
sobrang saya ko
dahil sa hair style ko ngayon.
Pumunta na ako sa kitchen at umupo sa breakfast bar kung nasaan yung almusal ko,
dahil
ayaw kong kumakain sa dining room mag-isa ay dito nila nilalagay yung almusal ko
para may
kasama ako o di kaya ay aakyat nila sa kwarto ko yung pagkain.
Kumain na rin ako at hinintay na bumaba si Yaya pagkatapos niyang linisin yung k
warto ko at si
Kuya naman na kasabay ko papasok. Ayaw na ayaw niyang sumasabay sa akin dahil an
g aga
aga ko raw pumapasok at napapaaga siya sa school niya kaso dahil sabi ni mom say
ang daw
yung gasolina kung babalik pa dito si Manong Rod para lang sa kanya. So in the e
nd
sumasabay na siya sa akin.
Nauna pang bumaba si Yaya kay Kuya, binigay niya sa akin yung cell phone ko at a
gad ko
naman itong binulsa. Nagsimula siyang maglabas ng lunch box at naglagay ng mga a
lmusal
doon. "Para kanino yan Ya?" tanong ko.
a little help from destiny
15 | P a g e
"Kay Kuya mo. Sa sasakyan na raw siya kakain." sagot ni Yaya habang ilalagay yun
g bagel sa
lunch box kasama yung cream cheese. Kinuha niya yung tumbler ni Kuya at nagsimul
ang
gamitin yung French press para sa kape ni Kuya. "Pinatay ko pala yung laptop at
yung
computer mo."
"Bakit? May dina-download ako eh!"
"Sabi ni Ma'am pagpahingain daw yung mga appliance niyo ni Kuya mo sa mga kwarto
niyo.
Mamaya papatayin ko rin yung sa Kuya mo."
Ngumisi ako sa kanya. "Magagalit si Kuya. Sisigaw yun!" sabi ko sa kanya. Si Kuy
a, masyadong
mainitin yung ulo nun. Akala niya batas siya sa bahay since hindi naman nauwi si
mom at
kaming dalawa lang kasama yung mga help. Spoiled kasi kaya ganun.
"Nagpaalam na ako." ngumisi rin si Yaya sa akin.
Dumating na rin si Kuya sa kitchen. "Ya, wag mong patayin yung MacBook ko. Yung
iba
lang." paalala niya kay Yaya. "Tara na." sabi niya naman.

"Teka lang hindi pa nainom si Mary ng gamot."


Tinignan ako ng masama si Kuya. "Kanina ka pa gising hindi ka pa uminom ng gamot
mo." Did I
ever tell you, my brother is not a morning person at all? He would snap at every
one or
everything for that matter.
"Kakatapos ko lang kumain!"
"Kasi ang daming kaartehan pa sa buhok!"
I mimick his voice to annoy him and for sure he walks out. I take my time with t
aking my meds,
hindi naman ako male-late kahit anong mangyari, sobrang aga ko kayang pumasok. I
sang oras
pa bago yung first bell.
a little help from destiny
16 | P a g e
Pagkatapos ng pag-inom ng gamot ay lumabas na kami ni Yaya at sumakay na kami sa
loob
ng sasakyan. Nasa side ko na yung bag ko, nilabas ko sa bulsa ko yung cell phone
ko at
binuksan yung bag ko para itago yung cell phone ko.
Kinuha ko yung maliit na purse na nilalagyan ko ng aking toiletries na dinadala
ko lagi sa school,
dun ko nilagay yung cell phone ko dahil hindi naman yun na binubuksan ng guard.
Hindi na rin
naman gaano nagi-inspect pero to be sure lang tinago ko parin to.
Nagtalo kami ni Kuya dahil ayaw niya akong bigyan ng pagkain niya sabi lang niya
nagugutom
pa siya. Kaya nag stop kami sa drive-through ng McDonald's para bumili ng pagkai
n pa namin.
Nakarating na rin kami sa school at nagdamli akong lumabas ng sasakyan at naglak
ad
papasok ng gate. Binati ko yung mga guard at gulat sila nung pumasok na ako. Ngu
miti lang
ako at pumasok na sa loob ng building.
Pagkarating ko sa classroom bukas na yung mga ilaw at may tao na, sure naman na
hindi na
ako mauuna dahil tumigil pa kami sa McDo kanina.
Ngumiti ako nung nakita ko sila Ynna at Carmina na nakaupo sa group namin ni
Carmina. "Good morning!" masiglang bati ko sa kanila.
"MARY!" sabay silang tumayo at tumakbo palapit sa akin. Niyakap nila ako. "Na-mi
ss ka
namin!" sabi ni Ynna.
"Ako rin!" sabi ko, humiwalay ako at nakitang nasa sampu na kaming nasa classroo
m. Binati ko
silang lahat bago ako naupo sa pwesto ko. "Sinong group ngayon?" tanong ko.
"Tayo!" sabi ni Carmina. "Galit na galit si Ms. Ryn dahil tumatakas sila Riley t
as hindi maayos
yung Worship!" tuwang tuwang balita niya sa akin.
"Edi anong grade natin niyan!"
a little help from destiny
17 | P a g e
"Yaan mo na, may special classes naman tayo eh, Homeroom yung lalagyan ng grade.
"
Binuksan ko yung bag ko at nilabas yung mga hash-brown na binili ko sa McDo kani
na. Binigay
ko kayla Ynna at Carmina. "Anong mga special classes?"
"Ah ou nga pala, wala ka nung sinabi na yung mga class ngayon." sabi ni Ynna bag
o niya
kinagatan yung hash brown. Every year bago ang fourth quarter ay pinapa-sign up
kami ng

school with special classes. Maraming class tuwing ganon at mamimili ka ng dalaw
a para sa
dito.
Three times a week yun, kaya nadadagdagan yung school hours namin. Maganda lang
dito sa
special classes ay sama sama yung buong batch with the same special classes. Kay
a bonding
moment din.
"Okay lang. Kakausapin ko nalang si Ms. Ryn mamaya at tatanong kung ano pang
available." For sure wala na yung Cooking Class o kaya yung Knitting Class. Akal
a mo boring yun
pero ayun yung pinakamagandang kuhanin na class. Dahil si Ms. Leslie yung instru
ctor at sa
Home Ec Lab yun. So wala talagang ginagawa yung mga class na yun, pwera sa cooki
ng dahil
gusto talaga nilang magluto kaya hinahayaan ni Ms. Leslie na magluto sila ng kun
g anong
gusto nila habang yung Knitting Class naman ayun pwedeng pwedeng manood nalang n
g
mga movies.
Carmina and Ynna both grin at me deviously. "No worries. Kasama ka namin."
My face falls. Carmina have always told me how she wanted to take up the Sorting
Class or the
Chess Class, as if it isn t enough she already forced her way in the Chess Club or
the Lost and
Found Society. And then comes Ynna's and her crazy thoughts of taking up the Aik
ido Class,
Woodshop Class as if we're not already in torture of Woodshop Four.
"Anong pinili niyo?" tanong ko sa kanilang dalawa.
"Archery at Calligraphy!" masiglang sagot ni Ynna. Hindi ako makapagsalita. Gula
t na gulat sa
mga pinili nilang dalawa. Pinili rin magsalita pa ni Ynna nung hindi ako nagsali
ta pa. "Can you
believe it, gusto kang isali nila Gael sa Doll making Class as if naman gusto mo
ng gumawa ng
a little help from destiny
18 | P a g e
mga porcelain na manika!" she rambles, actually I kinda like the idea of making
dolls, it s
adorable."At yung ano pa yung isang gusto nila, Carms?"
"Afternoon Tea Class." supplies Carmina.
"Yeah ayun! Hindi ko lang maisip kung bakit may ganun na class, as if naman hind
i tayo
nagmemeryenda tuwing hapon at hindi pa tayo nakapasa sa Etiquette Class last yea
r. At isipin
mo yun, dun ko gustong ilagay nila Gael para may kasama sila." Kwento pa ni Ynna
.
"Kasi nga, hindi nila alam na lagi tayong kumakain tuwing uwian." Carmina points
out. Pero
really, do they really want to learn more Etiquette? Hindi na ba sila nag-sawa s
a mukha ni Ms.
Grin? she chuckles.
Hindi ko alam ang iisipin ko. Mas gugustuhin ko ng sumali sa Afternoon Tea Class
at Doll making
wag lang yung Archery at Calligraphy! "Please tell you you're both joking."
They both look at me skeptically. "Bakit naman kami magjo-joke?"
Ou nga naman bakit sila magjo-joke. But still Calligraphy? "Bakit Calligraphy?"
tanong ko nalang.
"Duh. May matututunan tayo dun kaysa sa Afternoon Tea Class." Ynna said. "Ay, ma
y quill na at

ink kaming binili para rin sayo! May mga stationary at parchment ka pa naman dib
a sa locker
mo kaya hindi na kami bumili."
"Guys, hindi niyo ba naalala yung huling hawak natin sa quill?" paalala ko sa ka
nila.
"Kaya nga kukunin natin tong class na to para hindi na ulit mangyari yun!" Carmi
na reasons. "It's
not as if matatapunan ulit tayo ng ink."
a little help from destiny
19 | P a g e
I still remember it though. Gumagawa kami ng project sa Filipino class namin, da
hil gusto namin
kakaiba kami sa El Fili namin ay nag-decide kaming quill yung gagamitin namin in
stead yung
mga glitter na ballpen o print outs.
Mukha kasing sosyal pag ganun at mukhang makaluma. So bumili kami ng tig sasaril
i namin na
quill at yung malalaking bote ng ink. In case na maubos namin, ayun yung dahilan
namin kay
Yaya nun.
Mom was so furious that day. We were working on our projects in the study, pinat
ong namin
lahat ng ink sa tuktok nung abot namin na cabinet para safe at hindi tumapon sa
carpet floor.
Tas nagkaharutan kaming tatlo at sinulatan namin yung isa't isa. Habang tumatakb
o kami sa
study we knocked over the cabinet at sa ulo namin tumapon yung limang malalaking
bote ng
ink. We were drenched in inks, so we screamed our hearts out.
Little did we know mom got home. Nakita niya yung nangyari at yung nangyari rin
sa study.
Yung carpet floor naging itim, yung cabinet na mukhang mas matanda pa sa akin ay
nalagyan
din ng ink, haggang dun sa desk ni mom at sa desktop.
I got grounded and Carmina and Ynna got banned inside the house for a little whi
le.
"Don't worry, hindi na tayo sa bahay niyo magpra-practice. Sa bahay na nila Ynna
." Carmina
said.
"At bakit Archery?"
Carmina beams. "Yung magiging Top One sa class ay yung magsho-shoot nung flaming
arrow
sa Grad ball!"
"Parang naman magiging Top One tayo!"
"Nevertheless it's worth a shot and you should have seen the instructor they hir
ed!" Carmina
says, "Sa totoo lang ayaw naman talaga namin ng Archery at sasama sana kami kayl
a Ella sa
Knitting kaso nagpakilala yung instructor! Sila Ella todo sisi na hindi nila pin
ili yung Archery!"
a little help from destiny
20 | P a g e
I sigh. "Talaga bang gwapo?"
"Ou grabe Mary! Feeling ko may 8 packs yun! Ang kinis kinis! May plano na kami n
i Carm para
maghubad sa harap natin yun!" Ynna says.
I laugh. Of course, may plano na sila kung paano makita ang isang teacher na hal
f
naked. "Okay. Sige payag na ako kahit gusto ko sa Journalism." sabi ko habang tu
matawa

parin.
"Sus araw araw na kayong nagkikita ni Cyril!"
Inirapan ko lang sila ni Ynna. Kinuha ko na yung cell phone ko sa bag ko at nag
text nalang kay
Cyril na nasa school na ako, ang tagal ko na rin hindi nakikita si Cyril simula
nung na-hospital ako
dahil hindi siya nakabisita.
Sila Ynna at Carmina naman ay patuloy lang sa pagdadaldal ng mga plano nila para
makitang
topless yung teacher sa Archery Class.
"Hi Mary." bati ni Allen sa akin kaya ngumiti ako sa kanya at binati rin siya. H
indi naman
masamang maging friendly diba?
"Paano pag sinara niya yung binds?" Ynna asks Carmina.
Si Allen naman nakatayo parin sa likod namin na parang may hinihintay pero dahil
wala ako sa
mood makipag-usap kay Allen lalo na sa loob ng classroom dahil ma chismis pa kam
i. Hindi
naman talaga kami halatang close ni Allen sa classroom. Minsanan lang kami mag-u
sap kaya
ganun.
"Ba't hindi nalang siya sa labas maghubad?" sabat ko kayla Ynna.
a little help from destiny
21 | P a g e
"As if naman." Ynna rolls her eyes na para bang napaka-imposible nun.
Inirapan ko lang ulit siya. "Kung ilagay niyo sa may bench yung mga school tee a
t ituro niyo sa
kanya yung mga yun, pag nagtanong kung saan pwede mag palit, ituro niyo yung off
ice ni Sir
kaso sabihin niyo nakalock siguro yun. At yung CR naman, sabihin niyo may mga na
gpapalit
para sa Swimming Class." I suggest to them. Mayroon kasi ngayon na Introductory
Class yung
bawat Special Class, sa Archery daw tuturo yung basics.
Ngumiti silang dalawa sa akin. "Ang galing mo talaga Mary! Kaya miss na miss ka
namin ni
Ynna!" Carmina beamed.
I grin at them both. "Of course. Sino yung magtatapon ng juice sa kanya?" tanong
ko.
Naramdaman kong umalis na si Allen at umupo sa pwesto niya. "Pwedeng ako nalang?
"
"Ano ka! Ako magtatapon!"
"Ako kaya!"
"Bato bato pik nalang!"
Ynna wins.
Pagkatapos pa namin magtalo ay sinabi kong pupuntahan ko lang muna sila Cyril. N
amiss ko rin
naman ang iba kong kaibigan at puro sila Ynna nalang yung nakausap ko ngayon.
Kaya nagpunta ako sa classroom nila Cyril at nakipag-chikahan sa mga tao dun, as
usual wala
pa si Cyril. This is why I wanted to go back to school. Tahimik yung buhay ko. R
amdam ko parin
na high school lang ako na walang problema.
Hindi ko kailangan problemahin yung mga bagay bagay dahil sa school, estudyante
lang ako.
Sa school, may karapatan akong maging masaya at mag-aliw aliw lang.
a little help from destiny
22 | P a g e
Hindi tulad pag nasa hospital ako, lahat bawal.
This is one of the things I will miss pag graduate namin ng high school.

a little help from destiny


23 | P a g e
Chapter35
Mistakes are what make us human
Homeroom starts. Pinapunta ako ni Ms. Ryn sa prefect para papirmahan yung aking
excuse
letter. Eto yung pinaka-ayaw ko pag uma-absent, yung excuse letter ang dami pang
process
para lang dito. Pupunta muna sa prefect para kumuha nung excuse letter na may pi
rma na
niya at isasama niya yun sa excuse letter na may pirma ni mom at yung medical ce
rtificate ko.
Pagkatapos ay dadalhin ko naman yun sa assistant ng principal at maghihintay pa
ako bago
pirmahan yun ng principal. Pagkatapos babalik sa adviser at siya naman pipirma.
Every class, tatayo pa ako para lang pamirmahan to sa mga teacher, sabi nila Ell
a iwan ko na
nga lang daw yun sa teacher's table kaso ayaw ko dahil malulukot lang.
So ganun yung nangyari ngayon, pumunta ako sa prefect at office ng assistant ng
principal
pagkatapos ay bumalik na ako sa classroom, walang ginagawa dahil Homeroom lang.
Binalik
ko na kay Ms. Ryn yung excuse letter ko at pinirmahan niya na ito.
"Tungkol sa Special Classes mo, sinama ka na nila Carmina sa subjects nila pero
kung gusto
mong baguhin pwede pa. Hindi ko pa binibigay sa mga instructor yung listahan niy
o." Ms. Ryn
tells me after signing my excuse letter. "I'll keep this one. Ako na magpapapirm
a sa mga
teacher mo." sabi niya at sinuksok lang niya ito sa folder niya. May kinuha siya
sa loob ng table
at inabot sa akin. "Yan mamili ka diyan ng gusto mo at after Homeroom sabihin mo
sa akin."
Tumango nalang ako at umupo sa pwesto ko kung nasaan sila Carmina rin ngayon kas
ama sila
Ella. Naglalaro sila sa may lapag ng jack's stone, binuklat ko yung brochure at
nabasa yung
mga special classes ngayon year.
Ang daming mga classes pero yung iba para lang sa respective levels. Tulad nalan
g nung
Archery para lang sa seniors. Binasa ko lang yung class description nung mga yun
. At nung nasa
Calligraphy na ako, naintindihan ko na kung bakit gustong gusto nung dalawa sa C
alligraphy.
Nagpunit ako ng papel sa notebook ko, I crumple it and throw it at Ynna. "Kaya p
ala gustong
gusto niyo sa Calligraphy ah!"
a little help from destiny
24 | P a g e
They both grin at me. "Nakita mo na? Ang galing diba!" Carmina exclaims
Tumango ako. "May matututunan kaya tayo niyan?" I ask them both chuckling at the
idea of us
ogling the instructors we have for our special classes.
Yung instructor kasi namin sa Calligraphy ay yung pinaka-gwapo na teacher dito s
a school
namin. Kaso sa grade school department siya kaya wala kaming chance na maging te
acher
siya. Kung siguro sa high school department siya may fan base na yan. Siguro nga
meron na
ngayon.

Nagkwentuhan at naglaro lang kaming lahat dahil Friday ngayon ibig sabihin ay cl
ub day
ngayon. Walang mga klase buong araw. May mga meeting lang ng clubs at pwedeng ma
natili
lang sa classroom kapag hindi kasali sa mga meeting. Yung mga officers lang mins
an kasi ang
kasali sa meeting at nagbibigay lang sila ng gagawin sa mga members nila.
Which everyone prefers dahil para sa amin eto yung free period namin. Walang mga
teacher
na nagbabantay sa amin. This is what I love the best about our school. Free peri
ods.
Dahil uso pa sa amin yung jack stones ay halos lahat kami ay naglalaro pati boys
ay naglalaro.
Yung iba naman yung pickup stick yung nilalaro. Parang mga bata lang ano?
Ako naman ay nagsusulat ng mga notes na wala ako simula nung umabsent ako. Ang s
akit na
nga ng kamay ko pero kailangan kong magsulat para may reviewer naman ako sa mga
quiz sa
Monday.
"Hi po. Pwedeng pumasok?" inangat ko yung ulo ko at tinignan kung sino yung nasa
may pinto
namin. Hindi na nila hinintay yung permiso dahil pumasok na sila at ako naman ay
bumalik na sa
pagsusulat. Malay ko ba kung anong mga kailangan niyan.
"Hi Ate." bati sa akin nung isa sa kanila.
a little help from destiny
25 | P a g e
Inangat ko ulit yung ulo ko, nasa tapat ko para yung dalawang babae. "Bakit?"
"Pwedeng ma-interview ka ate?" tanong nung babaeng kulot yung buhok.
Narinig nila Ynna yun kaya nagsilapitan sila sa akin at umupo sa tabi ko. "May b
ayad interview
sa kanya." pagbibiro ni Ynna sa dalawa.
"Para saan naman yang interview na yan?" tanong ni Ella.
"Sa Journalism Class po namin." sagot nung isang babae.
"January pa ang start ng special classes ah." Carmina comments.
"Yung iba start na po, basic lang po. Kailangan namin ng interview sa mga pinili
ng president ng
class."
"May president na agad?" tanong ko. Binalik ko yung takip ng ballpen ko at sinar
a yung
notebook ko. "At talagang kasama ako?"
"Opo."
"Kanino muna nanggaling yung mga tanong?"
"Sa president din po."
"Sino president ng Journalism? Si Cyril diba?" sabat ni Ynna.
"Hindi sa Journalism si Cyril. Sports at Governorship." Sabi ni Ella.
a little help from destiny
26 | P a g e
"Oh edi sino president?"
"Si Ate Ira po." sabi nung babaeng kulot yung buhok.
"Si Ira? Wow first time maging president nun!" biro ni Ynna. Hindi naman kasi ga
nun kasikat si Ira,
isa sa mga batch mate namin. Ayaw na ayaw ni Ynna kay Ira dahil ang OA din kasi
ni Ira. Never
ko naman naging classmate yun kaya hindi ko alam ang ugali nun.
"Sige paki-bilis lang may ginagawa pa ako." sabi ko.
Ngumiti yung dalawa. "Ako nga pala po si Leah at siya po si Agatha." sabi nung b
abaeng kulot.
Tumango ako. "Okay. So first question."
"Totoo po bang kayo ang pinakamayaman na estudyante dito sa St. Peter's High?" t

anong ni
Agatha.
Gulat naman ako sa tanong niya. "Anong klaseng tanong yan." I brush off, I don t w
ant to
answer that question, if I say yes, I d come out as maybang and if I say no, I d com
e out as pahumble.
See no right answer for that one and I just know there s many juniors and seniors
in
Journalism that hates my guts, they d twist my answer, that s for sure. "Next questi
on."
"Ate..." Leah says.
"Siya nga." sabat ni Ella.
"Hindi ano!" pag-deny ko naman.
"So hindi po totoong nakatira kayo sa isang mansyon?" tanong ni Agatha na tinaas
yung kilay
niya.
a little help from destiny
27 | P a g e
"Hindi naman mansyon yung bahay namin. Saan niyo ba nakukuha yan." I ask them. I
t's not
really a mansion, it's just a big house I admit but not a mansion. A mansion is
what my paternal
grandparents lived before, that was a mansion not ours.
"Anong hindi! Ang laki laki nung bahay niyo! Classroom natin CR lang ata ng mom
mo eh!" Ynna
exclaims.
"At may sampung kwarto kayo, hiwalay pa yung malaking library at office ng mom
mo!" Carmina points out.
Tinignan ko yung dalawa. "Grabe kayo. Ang OA lang."
"Deny deny. Sulat niyo siya nga." Sabi ni Ella.
Nagsulat naman yung si Leah. Tas nagtanong na ulit si Agatha. "Totoo po bang may
collection
kayo ng headbands at ginagaya niyo si Blair Waldorf?"
I smile proudly. "Yeah may collection ako ng headbands. Of course, Blair Waldorf
is my role
model." I answer. Dahil high school kami, ito yung era ng Gossip Girl. Simula nu
ng napanood ko
ito sobra ko ng kinaadikan yung palabas. At gaya ni Blair Waldorf ay marami rin
akong
headband.
"You girls should see her closet. Punong puno ng damit at sapatos. Yung mga head
band niya,
sobrang rami." Carmina tells them.
Nagpatuloy lang sa pagtatanong sila Agatha habang si Leah yung nagsusulat. Kamin
g apat
yung sumasagot sa mga tanong nila at pansin kong nakikinig yung mga iba kong cla
ssmate.
Pumasok din sa classroom sila Chelsea dahil nalaman nila yung interview ko.
"Totoo po bang may boyfriend po kayo na nasa sa ibang bansa?"
"Wala akong boyfriend." agad kong sagot sa kanya.
a little help from destiny
28 | P a g e
"Anong wala kang boyfriend? Eh ano si Kim?" Chelsea interrupts.
Hindi ko tinignan si Chelsea dahil ayaw kong sabihin sa kanya yung nangyari at i
sa pa hindi ko
naman boyfriend si Kim eh. "Next question."
Agatha hesitates first but she continues. "Dahil po ba sa namatay niyong best fr
iend kaya wala
ka paring boyfriend?"
I am taken aback by her question. How the hell did Ira know about Louie? This is

really personal.
Ira is never a friend of mine, chismosa siguro talaga yung Ira na yan. "That's n
ot true. Kaya wala
pa akong boyfriend dahil ayaw ko pang magkaroon."
"Really? Then nilalaro mo lang si Kim?" Chelsea asks.
"Why do you care?" I ask glaring at her.
"He's the best thing that ever happened to you!" Chelsea says.
"Louie was the best thing that ever happened to me." I correct.
"Tignan mo, si Louie parin. Paano naman si Kim? Kawawa naman yung tao!"
"Kawawa?" napatayo ako at ganun din si Chelsea. "Sa tingin mo kawawa siya? Hindi
mo ba
alam kung anong ginawa sa akin ni Kim?" I ask her. "He betrayed me along with Pa
t! Sarili kong
best friend sinulot ako. Hindi mo ba alam yun? Anong kawawa dun kung nagpapakasa
ya siya
kasama si Pat?"
Halatang nagulat si Chelsea pero agad din itong nakabawi. "How could you call th
at betraying?
He wasn't even yours."
a little help from destiny
29 | P a g e
"So sinasabi mong tama lang yung ginawa niya?" I ask her knowing that everyone i
nside the
room is listening and we are raising our voices. "Sinasabi mo ba na ayos lang sa
isang lalaki na
sinabing ako ang mahal pero kayang makipaglandian sa iba?"
"Bakit ka nagagalit sa kanya? Mas masama nga yung ginagawa mo sa kanya hindi ba?
Pinaapasa mo siya. Masama na rin bang maghanap siya ng iba kung yung babaeng mah
al
niya hindi maka-move on. Kung yung mahal niya naman hindi mag-let go lalo na kun
g patay
na naman si Louie?
Naiiyak na ako pero ayaw kong umiyak sa harap ng marami. Kaya pinigilan ko ito.
"Why do all
of you ask me to let go of the only one person whom I love?"
"DAHIL PATAY NA SIYA!" Chelsea yells. "Isipin mo naman yung taong buhay pa. Hind
i yung patay
na. Hindi na babalik si Louie, si Kim na yung nandito."
I turn my back and start walking away. Nung nasa labas na ako, agad kong pinunas
an yung
luhang pumatak. Naririndi na ako sa mga taong hinihiling na pakawalan ko na si L
ouie, bakit
hindi nila maintindihan?
Naramdaman kong may humatak sa braso ko. "Totoo ba?" Allen ask.
"Ang alin?" I ask irrirated.
"Yung sinabi ni Chelsea. At yung sinabi mo. Yung Louie lang ba yung mahal mo?"
I pull my arm away from him. "Don't ask those questions Allen dahil tiyak hindi
mo
magugustuhan yung sagot."
"May karapatan akong malaman."
"You have no right. Hindi kita boyfriend. Hindi ko kailangan mag explain sayo da
hil HINDI KITA
BOYFRIEND!" I tell him frustrated at everyone right now. "Stop acting like you a
re!" I yell him and
storm off.
a little help from destiny
30 | P a g e
Nung nakakatatlong hakbang na ako sa hagdan ay narinig ko yung boses ni Cyril. "
Pabayaan
mo muna si Mary. Lalo mo lang pinapagulo yung isip nun."

Hindi na ako nakinig pa at umakyat nalang ako at pumunta sa debate clubroom. Pag
pasok ko
ay nagulat ako nung may tao sa loob. Alam ko kasi nasa auditorium ang debate tea
m kasama
yung mga ibang club under English department. "What are you doing here?" I ask.
He looks up. "Oh." he says. "I'm printing the program and sorting it out."
Umupo ako sa kabilang silya na katapat niya. Sa table naman ay mga papel na may
label.
Kumuha ako ng isang piraso. "The Seven Dwarfs, the Sleeping Beauty and the Beast
?"
"You didn't know? Drama club rewrote the play."
"How did that go?"
He smiles. "Sleeping Beauty grew up under the protection of the seven dwarfs. Yo
u see, Sleeping
Beauty was supposed to be death under the order of the Evil Queen but the seven
dwarfs who
were the friends of the deceased queen took Beauty away and raised her. The Evil
Queen
learned that Beauty was alive after all these years and she sent someone to kill
Beauty once and
for all. The assassin took Beauty away from the cottage and brought her to the r
uined castle of
another kingdom for there was a rumor that a beast so cruel lived there. The Bea
st took her as a
prisoner, and you know what happened they grew closer. The Evil Queen found out
that Beauty
wasn't dead yet so she asked for the aid of an old witch to kill Beauty. The old
witch foretold that
in order for Beauty to never open her eyes again was if Beauty prick her finger
in a torn of an
enchanted rose in which the Beast held as his lifeline." he explains.
"So you mean to tell me, Beauty accidentally pricks her finger to that torn and
she just slept?
What happens next?" I ask curious to what the Drama Club wrote for the Christmas
play.
"The Seven dwarfs learned Beauty's whereabouts. They journey on but they were to
o late for
Beauty had already pricked her finger. Beast was so devastated he trashed everyt
hing in his
room. The Seven dwarfs with the help of the transformed servants prepared Beauty
for her last
a little help from destiny
31 | P a g e
resting place. They placed her in a white glass coffin and was about to bring ba
ck to their lovely
cottage when Beast told them to put Beauty on her room. They followed his orders
and left
Beauty in her room inside the castle."
"What happens then?" tanong ko ulit. Ang cute lang kasi nung story.
"Years later, when only one petal left on the rose, Beast was happy that he woul
d finally die and
be with Beauty for there was no other woman for him but Beauty herself. Meanwhil
e the Evil
Queen, greedy with power and richness told her soldiers to raid the neighboring
kingdom where
Beast was living. The soldiers forced their way inside the castle gates, with th
e help of the seven
dwarfs the transformed servants prevented the soldiers from getting inside the c
astle. With no
hope Beast decided to let the soldiers to kill him, he opened the casket and kis

sed Beauty once


last time."
"Oh I get the ending already!" I cut in. "That's a nice story line. Who wrote it
?" I ask wanting to talk
to the writer and give him my insights on his writings.
He looks shy "I did."
I smile and look at him. "That's really good! You're brilliant." I tell him.
He smiles shyly at me. "Thanks."
"Do you remember me?" I ask him.
He nods. "Mary right?"
I beam. "And Kevin Liu."
Somehow, dahil sa pagkukwento niya ng story nung play, nawala yung inis ko. Hind
i na ako
nalulungkot sa mga nangyari sa baba kanina. Yung pag side ni Chelsea kay Kim, yu
ng pagpilit
niyang mag let go na ako.
a little help from destiny
32 | P a g e
"What brings you here?" he asks.
I raise my eyebrow at him. "This is the debate club isn't it? I am a debate club
officer, am I not
allowed inside the room?" I ask grinning.
"That's not what I meant. It's just that they said you're busy with writing down
notes."
"Yeah I was but well it was hot in our room."
"Is the air conditioner not working?"
I chuckle. "No, no. It felt suffocating." I say and look away. "Kevin, would you
forgive someone
who betrayed you?" I ask looking at him once again.
He looks confused but he answers me still. "It depends."
"On?" I prod.
"If what that someone did to me, if it's grave then I wouldn't forgive too easil
y but if there's some
explanation then..."
"What if, the girl who told you she loves you betrayed you with your own best fr
iend?'
He looks like he was thinking about it and for a few minutes he doesn t answer. "I
'm going to ask
her first. Why did she betray me?"
"To get back at you?" I say, "Because you're in love with someone else and not h
er?"
a little help from destiny
33 | P a g e
He smiles faintly at me. "Then I'm going to forgive her."
"WHY?" I ask exasperated. "She betrayed you. She loved you but then she went tra
ipsing with
your best friend!"
Bakit niya naman papatawarin yun kung ganun hindi ba? I won't. I can't.
"Because she was hurting." he answers me flatly. "I hurt her when I couldn't lov
e her."
"You've been direct with her right in the beginning."
"I hurt her. It's natural that she would want me hurt too, even unconsciously."
"So you're willing to forgive and forget?"
"Forgive yes but not forget. I won't forget it, it will serve as a reminder that
I've hurt her and she
had hurt me and maybe someday it would remind me not to hurt someone else again
in that
way." he says while he holds a stack of papers.
"Why are you willing to forgive her?" I ask, simply wondering why would someone
forgive the

person who betrayed him?


He places the stack of papers in the label Freshmen. He then looks at me and smi
les. "Because
she made a mistake. True, we shouldn't get back to people who have hurt us and t
hat was her
mistake. Everyone makes a mistake that?s what makes us human. Do you know what B
east's two
mistakes were?" he asks.
I shake my head no.
"The first one was turning someone in need away, he shouldn't have done that. He
was arrogant,
believed others were beneath him. The witch wanted him to learn something that w
as why she
turned him into a beast. His second mistake and I believe his greatest mistake w
as giving up too
a little help from destiny
34 | P a g e
easily. He gave up the hope he could be a human again and also gave up that Beau
ty could no
longer be with him. He gave up. But he righted his mistakes and that was what ma
de him human
again." he tells me. "We are bound to make mistakes once in a while and it is wh
at makes us
human. It's hard to forgive someone who betrays your trust, it comes easy when t
he other feels
remorse."
"You're something Kevin Liu." I tell him uneasily.
"And you need to learn to forgive, Mary."
a little help from destiny
35 | P a g e
Chapter36
Don't say goodbye
"Mary, are you going to attend St. Claire's Christmas Ball?" Carmina asks me as
I hand her my
test paper. She then pass it over to the person in front of her.
Binalik ko yung ballpen at calculator ko sa bag ko bago ako sumagot kay Carmina.
"Yeah
required eh."
"Hindi ka makakasama sa party?" tanong niya. Nakaharap na siya sa akin.
Umiling ako. "Huling huli yung part ko sa program eh."
"Hindi pa ba sila nagsasawa sa mukha mo? Pangatlong taon mo ng ginagawa yan." Ca
rmina
teases.
Pagkatapos kasi ng last day ng exam, sunod na araw ay Christmas Party namin. Sil
ang lahat ay
may sarili sariling gimik pagkatapos ng Christmas Party sa school, si Rhiannon,
classmate ko ay
napapayag yung parents niya na mag party kami sa private resort nila sa Tagaytay
.
Unfortunately, for me, I can't join them. Required kasi akong umattend sa Christ
mas Ball ng St.
Claire's, ang sister school namin. Yung unang taon, second year ako, tuwang tuwa
pa ako at
excited akong pumunta sa ball dahil ako yung maga-award ng mga nanalo.
Pero nakakasawa rin pala iyon pag ilang ulit mo ng ginagawa. Hindi lang kasi sa
Christmas Ball
ako ginagamit ng school pag awarding kundi halos lahat ng awarding. I am the fac
e of St.
Peter's High after all. Hindi sa nagmamayabang pero ganun talaga dahil ako yung
nanalo nung

first year ako as the Miss St. Peter's High.


Ayun yung advantage ng mga first year na nanalo sa Miss St. Peter's High. Three
years of being
the title beholder. Three years din si mom sa council.
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36 | P a g e
"Sa sobrang ganda ko paano sila magsasawa sa mukha ko?" I joke back.
Tumawa lang si Carmina at tumayo na para sa prayer, tumayo na rin ako. "Di nga h
indi ka na
sasama?" lingon niya ulit sa akin.
Tumahimik muna kami nung nag simula ng maglead si Ms. ng prayer. Pagkatapos ay p
inaupo
na ulit kami ni Ms. dahil may announcement siya para bukas. "Officers na require
d bukas sa
Christmas, 5:30 ang meeting time." Ms. Ryn said. "Para naman sa Christmas party
bukas, maiwan
yung mag-aayos ng room at boys humiram na kayo sa canteen ng table." she told us
. "Gusto ko
wala akong makikitang mga regalo sa desk niyo, lahat ng regalo ay ilalagay sa Ch
ristmas
tree."paalala niya sa amin. "You can go now."
Walang nagsitayuan sa amin at hinintay lang si Ms. Ryn na umalis ng room. "Ella!
"sigaw ni Riley.
Lumingon naman si Ella bago ito tumayo at nagpunta sa pwesto namin. "Bakit?"
"Sasama kayo bukas sa Tagaytay diba?" tanong ni Riley. Tumango naman si Ella. "E
di sabay
sabay nalang lahat ng mga required sa ball pumunta."suggest niya pa.
"Sasama ka ba Mary?" tingin ni Ella sa akin at tanong.
"Hindi pa ako sure." sabi ko sa kanila. "Hindi pa kasi ako nakakapagpaalam." tum
ayo na ako at
kinuha yung shoulder bag ko. Tumingin ako sa kanila at ngumiti. "Paalam ako mama
ya tas
tatawagan ko kayo. Pag pumayag, pahatid nalang tayo sa Tagaytay."
"Sana pumayag." Ella crosses her fingers.
Nagpaalam na rin ako sa kanilang lahat dahil kailangan ko na rin umuwi para hint
ayin si mom
at makapag Christmas shopping na kami nila kuya. Late na late na yung Christmas
shopping
namin kasi busy lagi si mom at dahil sa exams.
a little help from destiny
37 | P a g e
Pagka-uwi ko wala pa sila mom o si kuya kaya nagpalit nalang muna ako ng damit a
t kumain
din ng lunch. Ayaw ko sanang kumain sa bahay ng lunch kasi kakain din naman kami
sa labas
nila mom pero nagugutom na kasi ako kaya kumain nalang ako.
Pagkatapos kong kumain ay umakyat na ako at umupo lang sa sitting area sa second
floor.
Mas malakas yung WiFi namin dito sa may area na to dahil mas malapit sa study ro
om kung
nasaan yung router. At tsaka dito ako naghintay kasi may ginagawa sila sa baba.
Inaayos nila yaya yung living room para ma-adjust yung mga gamit dun para sa par
ty ni mom
sa isang araw. Tas may dumating din na grand piano kahapon regalo kay mom kaya i
naayos
nila yung living room.
High ceiling yung living room namin kaya yung Christmas tree ay abot haggang sec
ond floor, sa
second floor makikita yung angel na nasa tuktok.
Naglalaro lang ako sa laptop ko habang naghihintay.

Mga 30 minutes lang ay dumating na si mom, umakyat to at sinabihan akong magpapa


lit lang
siya at aasikasuhin yung nangyayari sa baba bago kami umalis. Susunduin nalang d
aw namin si
kuya sa school.
Pagkatapos magbihis at tumulong ni mom sa baba ay umakyat ulit to para tawagin a
ko at
kuhain yung bag niya. Sinundan ko siya sa loob ng kwarto niya.
"Ma, pwede akong sumama sa Tagaytay?" pagpapaalam ko sa kanya.
Tinignan niya ako. "Anong meron sa Tagaytay?"
"Christmas party namin! Three days and two nights."
Umiling si mom. "Naku ayan na naman yung ganyan niyo. Wag ka ng sumama."
a little help from destiny
38 | P a g e
"MOM!"I protest.
Tinignan niya ako ng masama. "Hindi kasama diyan si Cyril kaya paano ako
mapapanatag?"tanong niya sa akin.
I pout. Cyril is really my mom's favorite friend of mine in school. Siguro kasi
katulad nila
overprotective rin si Cyril at sinusunod talaga nito si mom. "Nandun naman yung
parents ni
Rhiannon." I lie. Sa totoo lang wala dun yung parents ni Rhiannon, yung yaya lan
g ni Rhiannon
pero mas mapapanatag si mom kung sasabihin kong nandun yung parents ni Rhiannon.
Ayun
lang naman ang gusto ni mom eh.
"Three days?" tanong niya, tumango naman ako. "May party tayo in three days." pa
alala niya
sa akin.
"Maaga kami uuwi. Pasundo mo ako ng maaga."
Tinaasan ako ng kilay ni mom. "Papasundo ka pa?"
"Sympre."
"Gagabihin ka na bukas sa Christmas ball, paano ka nun?"
I smile. Papayag na si mom, kunting info nalang papayag na siya. "Papahatid ako
sa Tagaytay.
Kasabay ko na rin sila Ella." sabi ko. Narinig kong tumunog yung phone ko at tin
ignan ko kung
sino yung tumatawag, hindi ko to sinagot nung nalaman ko kung sino.
"Sige sige. In one condition."
I beam. "Okay what is it? Magbe-behave ako sa party mo."
a little help from destiny
39 | P a g e
Umiling siya. "No. You'll start your session with Dr. Collins."
I frown. I really don't want to talk to that shrink. I don't need her help in an
y way. Is it worth it? I
mean this trip with my classmates, is it worth bargaining with this kind of deal
?
"You need to talk to someone Mary. You're a teenager facing a life threatening i
llness. You need
to learn how to cope with that and Dr. Collins will help." mom explains.
But then again, I promised myself that I'd bond with my classmates before our ti
me's up and we
graduate. Gusto kong maging close pa ako sa kanilang lahat kaya siguro ayos lang
to as long
as we don't talk about what happened before.
I nod. "Okay." Hindi parin tumitigil yung pag ring ng phone ko pero hindi ko to
pinansin at
lumabas na sa kwarto ni mom.
"Sagutin mo yan Mary." utos ni mom.
Hindi ko siya pinansin at umupo nalang ulit sa settee, akmang papatayin ko na yu

ng phone ko
para naman matigil na yung pagtunog, why does this guy doesn't take the hint tha
t I never
want to talk to him again?
Mom comes out of her room with her bag. "Just answer his calls. God knows you tw
o need to
talk." sabi niya bago ito naglakad papunta sa hagdan. "Hihintayin kita sa sasaky
an. Sagutin mo
yan. Darating yung mga Montenegro before Christmas at ayaw kong magkaroon ng awk
ward
atmosphere." she says and descends down the stairs.
I sigh. I guess I just need to get over it and tell him I don't want to talk. No
t now, not ever. It just
hurts. I still can't stop thinking of the betrayal.
I close my eyes for a second then answer the phone call that s due between us. I d
on t say
anything, hindi ko alam kung anong sasabihin ko.
a little help from destiny
40 | P a g e
"Mary, thank God you answered." Kim breathes, he sounds tired and relieved at th
e same time.
This isn t the Kim I know. There is something different in his voice. "God what's
wrong with me." he
chuckles a bit. "Hi." he greets and I knw he is smiling.
"Hi." I breathe.
"Thank you for answering." he says. "I have this speech ready but just hearing y
our voice, my
thoughts got scattered." he says nervously and from the sounds of it, he is paci
ng. Kim is nervous.
I want to smile at the thought that I am making him nervous but I just can't. "I
missed you so
much."
"Don't." I start, "Don't say that."
"Mary, I'm so sorry. For everything. I wasn't thinking clearly and for that I'm
so sorry. I'm sorry that
you feel betrayed. I'm sorry for creating a wall between you and Tricia."
"Don't Kim." I interpose.
"I wanted to hurt you at that time Mary. I wanted you to feel what you did to me
. The pain, I
wanted you to feel that pain too. Then I realized I couldn't do that to you. I c
ouldn't hurt you.
You're my everything and I promised you I would never hurt you so I broke it off
with Tricia. I was
going to tell you about it when we talk again." he tells me. "I was going to adm
it everything to
you, hoping you'd forgive me."
"It hurt me you know."
"I know and you don't know how sorry I am for hurting you." Kim says. "You know,
I thought it
wouldn't matter to you, that it wouldn't hurt you that much. You wanted me gone
to your life and
I just thought I wouldn't matter anymore."
"You're wrong. You're my best friend Kim. Of course you matter. Kahit anong mang
yari Kim, best
friend parin kita at mahalaga ka sa akin. Kaya nga sobrang sakit Kim, kasi pareh
o ko kayong
best friend. Selfish siguro talaga ako kasi kahit pinagtulakan na kita palayo ay
aw ko parin na
a little help from destiny
41 | P a g e

makita kang kasama si Pat." I cry. "You know how jealous I am when it comes with
her. She
always gets what she wants and I was so scared that you were forever gone."
"I am in love with you Mary. You're my world and the day you pushed me away, my
world just
shattered. I am nothing without you. I need you to forgive me Mary, please."
"I just... I can't Ian." I tell him truthfully. Hindi ko kaya. Hindi ko kayang p
atawarin si Kim kasi
masakit pa. Hindi ko rin kayang magsinungaling sa kanya at sabihin na napatawad
ko na siya
dahil hindi totoo yun. "It still hurts. I just can't forgive and forget."
"Mary please." Kim's voice cracks.
"I can't. At least not now."
"But someday?"
"Maybe someday."
"I love you Mary."
"I know. Good bye Ian." I say brushing the tears off.
"No." he says suddenly. "Don't say goodbye. It sounded so final."
I smile. Only Kim would say things like that. "Bye?" I ask smiling.
"No."
"See you Ian." I say. "I miss you too Ian." I tell him before hanging up. I want
him to know that I
also missed him.
a little help from destiny
42 | P a g e
Maybe someday, I could forgive him. I just can't right now.
I stood up and brushed my tears. I smiled and walked down.
I wish I could easily forgive someone. I wish forgiving is that simple.
a little help from destiny
43 | P a g e
Chapter37
Saying Goodbye to Allen
Before we head to Tagaytay, mom insists that I come to see her. Hindi kasi siya
umattend sa
Christmas Ball kasi busy siya. Naintindihan naman yun ng school at sympre, hindi
naman talaga
nila kailangan si mom, ang kailangan lang naman talaga nila ay ang check for don
ation.
Hindi na kami nagpalit nila Ella ng damit dahil sayang sa oras at gusto na talag
a namin na
makarating sa Tagaytay, hiniling nga rin naman kayla Ms. Dory kung pwede kaming
umalis ng
maaga, at dahil malaki yung donation ni mom ngayon, napapayag na agahan yung awa
rding
para sa akin.
It s easy how money could make everything better.
Pagkatapos namin mag paalam kay mom, inassure ni Ella kay mom na nandun yung par
ents ni
Rhiannon at si mom naman pinaalala rin sa amin na wag masyadong mag-enjoy at mag
-ingat
kami.
Pinadalhan din niya kami ng mga pagkain, puno yung likod ng van ng mga grocery b
ag at
hawak hawak naman namin nila Ella yung mga cake na binili pa niya. Minsan over m
asyado si
mom sa pagbibili ng pagkain. Sure naman kasing maraming pagkain sa Tagaytay pero
sympre
mom is mom.
Nakaiglip kami at nung malapit na kami, ginising na kami ni Yaya para sa direksy
on, kaya

tinawagan na ni Ella sila Rhiannon para sa direksyon. Ayun naman mga ten minutes
nakarating
na kami sa bahay nila Rhiannon.
Nakabukas yung gate at rinig na rinig yung music pati mga sigawan ng mga classma
tes namin.
Bumaba na kami at sinalubong kami ni Rhiannon kasama yung Yaya niya.
a little help from destiny
44 | P a g e
Tumulong naman yung iba pang kasambahay nila Rhiannon sa pagbaba ng mga grocery
sa
van. Sila Ella nauna na sa loob, ako naman hinintay muna na matapos sa paglalaga
y sa loob
yung mga gamit at grocery.
Nung natapos na, lumabas na ulit sila Yaya at Manong. Nagpaalam ako kay Manong a
t
hinarap si Yaya. Nilagay na yung bag mo sa kwarto niyo daw nila Carmina. Yung gam
ot mo
wag mong kakalimutan inumin ah. Paalala niya sa akin.
Nginitian ko siya. Okay Ya.
Nagbuntong hininga siya. Susunduin ka namin ng maaga. Tumawag ka nalang pag may
kailangan ka pa.
Okay okay. Ingat kayo sa byahe Ya.
Sige na pasok ka na dun. Enjoy.
Pumasok na ako sa loob at pumunta sa may pool side kung nasaan silang lahat, hal
os
kumpleto kami, yung mga hindi lang sumama ay yung mga recluse namin na classmate
s.
Napansin ako nila Riley at kumaway para pumunta sa pwesto nila. Nandun sila sa m
ay kubo at
yung mga boys nag-iinuman na. Hindi naman mawawala yan sa mga outing ng high sch
ool
students eh.
Hi guys! bati ko sa kanila.
Ganda natin ah Mary. Tukso ni Tony sa akin.
Ngumiti ako sa kanya. Kailan ba naging hindi? sabi ko sa kanya.
a little help from destiny
45 | P a g e
Prinsesa na prinsesa ang dating! May suot pa talagang tiara! sabi naman ni Riley.
Napahawak naman ako sa may tuktok ng buhok ko at nakalimutan ko palang alisin ka
nina
yung tiara na nilagay ni Yaya sa buhok ko. Binaba ko yung kamay ko at ngumiti la
ng ulit sa
kanila. Carm samahan mo ako sa kwarto. Pag-aaya ko kay Carmina.
Natatakot kang umakyat mag-isa ano?
Lumapit ako sa kanya at hinila na siya. Tara na. aya ko.
Tumatawa siyang tumayo at ganun din si Ynna. Nagtawanan lang kami nung umaakyat
na
kami sa taas. Kinuha ni Ynna yung susi at binuksan yung pinto ng kwarto, pumasok
kami at
nakita kong nasa ibabaw ng kama yung mga bag ko.
Tayong tatlo lang dito? tanong ko. Naglakad ako papunta sa kama at umupo habang
binubuksan yung bag ko.
Ou. Tig-aapat dapat at apat sa lahat tayo lang natira dahil may sariling kwarto s
i Rhiannon.
Gusto nga nila Mandy at Gael dun ka sa kanila. Sympre hindi naman kami papayag na
agawin ka sa amin! sabi ni Ynna nang tumalon to pahiga sa kabilang kama.
Natawa lang ako, kung tutuusin nga naagaw naman talaga nila ako kayla Gael at Ma
ndy.
Dahil dati kong classmates sila Mandy at Gael kami yung magkakasama-sama kaso sy
mpre kagroup

ko si Carmina at si Ynna sa katabing group kaya madaling makipag-kwentuhan.


Ewan ko kung paano kami naging close tatlo basta isang araw, sila na ang kasama
ko imbes na
sila Gael. Siguro mas preferred ko sila dahil gets nila ako at puno lang kami ng
kabaliwan.
a little help from destiny
46 | P a g e
Baliw. Lilipat din naman ako kung ganun. Sabi ko naman at napatingin ako sa may de
sk at
nakitang nandun yung mga regalo nila. Yung mga akin naman nasa bahay na at naka
display
na sa ilalim ng Christmas tree. Hindi niyo ba bubuksan yan? tanong ko.
Parehas silang tumingin sa mga regalo. Meron ka pala diyan! sabi ni Carmina. Pinabi
bigay
nila Chelsea. Hindi mo raw siya pinansin nung pumunta ka sa classroom nila.
I scoff. Dahil dun sa sigawan namin ni Chelsea nung kakabalik ko lang sa school
galing hospital
ay nag-away kami. Hindi ko siya pinapansin. I know, parang bata lang pero naiini
s kasi ako.
Diba dahil nga best friend niya ako, dapat kampi siya sa akin? Diba dapat mas na
iiintindihan
niya kung bakit hindi ko kayang mag let go pagdating kay Louie? Siguro nga mali
na umasa
ako na maiiintindihan niya ako. We were really different from each other anyway.
Sus magbabati rin kayo niyan. Sabi naman ni Ynna.
Hindi ko naman siya kailangan. Nandito na naman kayo eh.
ANG CHEESY MO! natatawang sigaw ni Carmina.
Shit ang corny Mary!
Kinilig naman kayo! sabi ko at tumawa na rin ako.
Hinubad ko na yung dress ko at nagsuot ng swimsuit, sympre nagsuot ulit ako ng d
ress, hindi
naman ako magsi-swimming, gusto ko lang suotin yung dress na binili namin ni mom
kasama
yung swimsuit ko.
Bumaba na rin kami at nakisali na sa mga ginagawa nila sa baba.
a little help from destiny
47 | P a g e
On our first night, here in Tagaytay we have a blast. We stay up until dawn.
***
Tanghali na kaming nagising nila Ynna ganun din naman yung iba at pagkatapos mag
siliguan
at kainan ay nag sightseeing kami sa Tagaytay. Parang field trip lang dahil ang
daming may
gustong pumunta sa Taal Lake kaya nagpunta kami dun.
Gabi na kami nakabalik sa bahay nila Rhiannon at si Riley yung nag-volunteer na
magluluto ng
dinner namin. Dahil wala naman may gustong magluto ay hinayaan na namin si Riley
sa kusina
kasama yung kasambahay nila Rhiannon.
Mga boys nagsimula ng mag-inuman at magsugal. Dapat nga sasali kami nila Ella ka
so poker
pala yung lalarunin nila at wala naman akong alam sa poker. Kaya kaming ibang gi
rls ay nagswimming
nalang. Yung iba sympre kumuha ng mga picture lang.
Dahil nilamig ako sa swimming pool ay umahon na ako at nagpunas at sinuot yung d
ress ulit.
Umupo ako sa tabi ni Ran at pinanood lang yung paglalaro nila.
Natapos magluto si Riley at tumulong nalang ako sa pag-aayos ng lamesa. Kumain k
ami at
pagkatapos ay nagpahinga bago nag-aya si Rhiannon na maglaro kami ng treasure hu

nting.
Inayos na raw ng Yaya niya yung mga nakatagong treasure at mapa at hahanapin daw
namin
yung mga yun. Para na rin tong courage test dahil sobrang lawak nung lot nila Rh
iannon at
napakalaki rin ng bahay nila. Nakakatakot pa dahil may mga portrait ng mga ances
tor ni
Rhiannon na sobrang nakakatakot yung itsura. Tas yung mga mata pa, sumusunod tal
aga.
By partner yung laro kaya hinatak ko si Riley sa akin.
May mga nakita kami mga treasure, mga candy pala to at habang naglalakad kami ni
Riley ay
kumakain na rin kami, ang dami namin nakitang candy at sympre, kinain lang namin
yun. Ayun
pala paramihan ng makukuhang candy.
a little help from destiny
48 | P a g e
Nagsisihan kami ni Riley, keso ako daw ang unang kumain at sabi ko naman ay siya
. Pero sa
totoo lang ako talaga ang nag-ayang kainin na namin. Ang swerte nga nila Ran at
Ynna dahil
sila yung nakahanap nung pinaka-treasure, isang box ng Godiva.
Pagkatapos nung laro ay puro laro rin sa pool yung ginawa namin.
Nakapaikot kami ngayon sa living room, dapat kukunin ni Rhiannon yung Ouija boar
d sa attic
kaso masyadong mapamahihin si Riley at sabing wag daw, kaya hindi naman ginawa.
Sayang
nga eh.
So we play truth or dare.
The questions are too personal and the dare are too daring. Kaya kahit anong pil
iin mo walang
safe choice. Sympre, ako dahil ayaw kong ma-dare dahil matatakutin ako pero dahi
l ayaw ko
rin ng mga personal questions ay sinubukan kong mag excuse nung ako na. Pero hin
di ako
nakawala dahil hindi daw ako magaling magsinungaling. The irony in that.
I choose dare, mas ayos na sa akin yung dare kaysa naman tanungin nila ako ng mg
a sobrang
personal na tanong. Nagkamali ako ng choice dahil si Elsie yung magda-dare, and
she was too
clever.
I dare you to answer five of our questions!
Dahil wala naman rules na bawal yung ganun ay ayun yung nangyari. And how I wish
the
ground would swallow me for those questions. Yung iba nakakahiya lang pero yung
isa talaga,
yung last na tanong dun gustong gusto ko ng lamunin talaga ako ng lupa.
No offense ah, curious lang talaga kaming lahat. Diba guys? Elsie said. Have you sl
ept with
Kim yet?
a little help from destiny
49 | P a g e
Siguro sobrang pula na yung mukha ko, pakiramdam ko nga lahat ng dugo ay umakyat
na sa
mukha ko. Hindi naman dahil sa guilty ako pero sympre anong klaseng tanong naman
kasi yun.
Katapat ko nun si Allen at napansin ko na parang nagulat din siya sa tanong ni E
lsie.
I shake my head. Never.
Platonic talaga kayo? Never ba kayong nagkiss? sunod sunod na tanong ni Elsie.

Oy sobra na sa lima.
KJ naman nito, sagutin mo na. Hindi ka pa nahahalikan ni Kim? si Ella ang nagtanon
g.
Sympre lalo akong namula. Hindi ko naman alam ang sasagot sa kanila. Alam kong a
yos lang
umamin, anong masama dun diba at fourth year na naman ako, imposible na wala pa
akog
first kiss o ano.
Pero kasi nahihiya akong sagutin lalo t na nakikinig si Allen.
Isang beses. sagot ko. I still remember that rainy afternoon when Kim kissed me fo
r the first time
ayun din yung last. Platonic naman talaga kami ni Kim at isa pa, nasa kabilang d
ako siya ng
mundo.
Ano yun peck lang or yung make out talaga? Yung may dila pa! tanong ni Rhiannon.
Ano ba yan girls mga tanong niyo! si Ran sumingit.
I shoot Ran a grateful smile.
a little help from destiny
50 | P a g e
Ang dami namin nilaro nun, nagpaalam lang ako at umakyat sa kwarto pala inumin y
ung
gamot ko at tawagan si Cyril. Nung nasa kwarto na ako uminom na ako ng gamot pag
katapos
ay lumabas ako sa may terrace at tinawagan si Cyril.
Nag-usap lang kami at sabi niyang sasama daw siya bukas sa pagsundo sa akin dito
. Nung
pagkatapos namin mag-usap napatingin ako sa may pool at napansin na may tao dun
sa gilid.
Nakilala ko yung likod nito, nagdalawang isip ako kung bababain ko ba siya o bab
alik nalang
ako sa living room kung nasaan yung iba. I sigh and decide to go to him and talk
.
Bumaba ako gamit yung hagdan dito sa terrace na diretso papunta sa pool. Umupo a
ko sa
tabi niya at binabad din yung paa ko sa pool.
Napatingin siya sa side ko kaya nginitian ko siya. Anong ginagawa mo dito? tanong
ko sa
kanya.
He shrugs lopsidedly. Nabored ako sa loob. sabi niya. Ikaw?
Nakita kita kaya bumaba ako. sagot ko naman. I look up and gaze at the sky, there
are so
many stars tonight and it feels good.
Alam mo una hindi ko maintindihan yung relationship mo kay Kim. Naririnig ko lagi
kayo ng
mga kaibigan mo, sila Chelsea botong boto sa kanya. Dati ko pa iniisip kung anon
g meron ba
talaga sa inyo. Pagsisimula ni Allen. Sabi mo best friend mo lang siya, aaminin ko
natakot ako
nun. Uso yung ma-in love sa best friend diba? Natakot ako kasi mas kilala ka niy
a kaysa sa
akin.
Hindi ako nagsalita, hinayaan ko siyang magpatuloy at hindi ko rin siya tinignan
dahil natatakot
ako sa pwedeng makita ko.
Wala talaga akong alam sa buhay mo Mary. Alam kong walang wala ako kay Kim. Best
friend
eh. Pero lagi kong naririnig sa inyo na best friend lang talaga ang turing mo sa
kanya. Kaya
umasa ako kasi Mary, naramdaman ko rin na mahal mo ako. ramdam kong nakatingin si
ya sa

a little help from destiny


51 | P a g e
akin pero ayaw ko siyang tignan, ayaw kong makita yung sakit na alam kung nandun
sa mga
mata niya.
Matagal ko ng alam na selfish ako, marami rin nagsabi na ganun daw talaga ako sig
uro dahil
sa pagpapalaki sa akin. Pero lately na-realize ko na sobra pala talaga akong sel
fish na hindi ko
namamalayan na nakakasakit na pala talaga ako. sabi ko habang nilalaro yung kamay
ko.
Alam ko dapat sabihin ko ng diretso na hindi pwede. Pero natakot kasi akong magin
g mag-isa,
natakot akong makahanap ka ng ibang babaeng mas deserving. Kaya kahit alam ko sa
sarili
ko na kahit kalian hindi ko mare-reciprocate yung pagmamahal na binibigay mo niyo
ni Kim,
kuha parin ako ng kuha. At hindi ko man inisip na nasasaktan ko na hindi lang ik
aw kundi pati si
Kim. Tama silang lahat paasa ako. I smile bitterly at him when I turn to look at
him.
Naiintidihan ko naman kung bakit Mary. Sympre una hindi, kasi para sa akin tama s
i Chelsea,
patay na si Louie. Hindi ko kilala si Louie kaya nagtanong ako kayla Gael, kinuw
ento nila si
Louie sa akin. Alam mo kung hindi nila sinabi sa akin yung tungkol sa kanya hind
i ko
malalaman na may nangyaring ganun sa buhay mo, na namatayan ka ng best friend. K
asi
Mary, hindi mo pinapakita yung lungkot, lagi kang nakangiti at sa totoong lang l
alo ata kitang
minahal dahil dun. Kasi kahit anong mangyari, nakangiti ka parin, hindi nawala y
ung ngiti mo.
Pero nainis din ako, gusto kong sabihin sayo na umiyak ka, na hindi tama na naka
ngiti ka at
niloob yung sakit.
Tama si Allen, na lagi akong nakangiti at niloob yung sakit na nawala na sa akin
si Louie para
lang masabi sa lahat na ayos ako.
Hindi ko masasabi sayo na naiintidihan kita kasi Mary, hindi pa nangyari sa akin
yung mawala
yung pinaka-importante sa buhay ko. Hindi ko pa nararansaan yung sakit na narana
saan mo
Mary. Pero ang masasabi ko lang Mary, napaka-swerte ni Louie dahil siya yung mah
al mo. Na
haggang ngayon, pinapahalagahan mo parin yung memorya niya. Hindi ko sasabihin s
ayo na
mag move on ka na kasi patay na siya kasi alam ko hindi mo kaya yun, kasi sa pus
o mo buhay
na buhay pa siya. Na kahit anong pilit namin sayo na mag move on hindi mangyayar
i yun.
Kaya kahit masakit, naiintindihan ko na siya lang yung lalaking mahal mo. Allen s
ays as he
takes my hand and intertwines it with his.
I squeeze it as I let a tear fall. I'm sorry. I croak. I never wanted to lead you o
n. I never wanted
to hurt you Allen. What I felt for you was true, kaya sana paniwalaan mo yun kah
it anong
mangyari.
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52 | P a g e
Tumango siya at ngumiti sa akin. Pakiramdam ko hirap na hirap siyang ngumiti sa
akin ngayon.
Nahimik lang kaming dalawa at hinayaan ko yung katahimikan dahil pakiramdam ko e
to yung
kailangan namin ngayon. Kaya hindi ako nagsalita at hinayaan lang na nasa kanya
ang kamay
ko.
It always feels good whenever he s holding my hands and I want good right now.
Binasag niya yung katahimikan sa isang tanong na hindi ko rin naman alam kung ka
ya kong
sagutin. Mary, kung walang Louie, sino sa amin ni Kim?
I never like the idea of choosing, I hate it. And sometimes I don t know the answe
r, I don t know
what to choose but with his question, I knew who. My answer would change things
and I don't
know if I can answer him.
Hindi ko kayo makikilala kung walang Louie. I tell him truthfully. It s the truth an
yway. Hindi
niyo makilala yung Mary na to kung walang Louie dahil Allen, si Louie yung dahil
an kung bakit
may Mary. Alam mo nung bata ako wala akong kinakausap. Hindi ako nagsasalita, th
ey all
thought something was wrong with me, they heard me speak but I never did play or
talk with
anyone. Siguro kung hindi ko nakilala si Louie nun, ganun parin ako Allen. kwento
ko sa kanya.
I would never be here with you guys if it weren?t for him.
I couldn t really answer his question, I know the answer but I couldn t. It would be
unfair not just
to him but also to Kim. I don t want to hurt anyone anymore so I think this one qu
estion would be
best if left unanswered.
Mas lalo kong naiintidihan yung impact ni Louie sayo. Sana nakilala ko siya. He ju
st says softly.
I know he wants to broach the subject. To know the truth because he knows also t
hat I have an
answer to his question but he let it slide. Because he is Allen, a good guy bene
ath all this exterior
of a bad boy.
Sumandal ako sa braso ni Allen at hinayaan lang ulit yung katahimikan sa paligid
namin. It s the
kind of silence that I could bear. It s comfortable but I know as he also does tha
t it would be the
last time.
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53 | P a g e
Mahirap yung gagawin ko kasi sobra akong natatakot. Natatakot sa hinaharap kaso
eto yung
tamang gawin ko. Masyado na akong nakasakit at dapat lang na sabihin yugn totoo
para
wala ng masaktan pa.
Masakit kasi alam ko kung ano yung papakawalan ko, kung gaano kaswerte yung baba
eng
mamahalin niya kung sakali. Masakit pero tama dahil hindi ako yung babaeng yun.
Mas
deserve niyang makita yung babaeng mamahalin siya ng buo hindi tulad ko na maram
ing
dalang bagahe.
It s not just Louie holding me back but also the sickness that I have. I m going to

die whether
others believe it or not. I know I was because I could still feel death hanging
around me.
Therefore, this is the right thing to do. If I die, it would devastate him, it w
ould do him good to tell
him that I couldn t be with him because of Louie and not because of death hanging
around me
because like Kim, he would stay.
Allen. I start and I feel him stiffen, maybe because he knows what is I am going t
o tell him. Let
me go.
a little help from destiny
54 | P a g e
Chapter38
The Family Holidays
Every Christmas, kuya and I spend it with our mom. It s always a quiet event for u
s, during
Christmas Eve, we would eat dinner with mom and our household staff. Christmas m
orning, kuya
and I would be opening our Christmas presents right under the tree with Yaya ser
ving us our
eggnogs. Then we would go to the church for the Mass.
We would eat brunch back home and after brunch mom would give us an hour to call
everyone we need to greet for Christmas. Then we would all go out, mom would giv
e our staff a
day off and give them money for them to spend for the day.
Then the three of us would go to the mall, we re still a normal Filipino family an
d of course,
Christmas meant watching MFF movies. We would watch one or two movies depending
on
mom. After the movies, we would go shop, mom would buy us anything we want.
I love spending Christmas with mom and my brother, I wouldn t want it any other wa
y. It s our
bonding time we seldom get because mom is always busy and whenever we arranged f
or a
day together, she sometimes bails on us but not on Christmas, on Christmas we ha
ve her for
ourselves.
At dinner, my other siblings with their families would go to our house and mom w
ould cook our
dinner. There s no staff yet and my sisters-in-law would help and set the table wh
ile I play with my
nieces and nephews.
The only thing that s missing on my Christmas tradition is Louie and his family. S
ometimes, the
Salazar family would join us for dinner or sometimes it would just be Louie. Lou
ie never missed
Holidays with me. We had always been together every holidays.
Nandito sa bansa yung family ni Kim at nagpunta sila nung party ni mom. Hindi ko
sila
masyadong naka-usap dahil napagod ako sa byahe ko, kakauwi ko lang din kasi nun
galing
Tagaytay. Hapon na kasi ako nasundo, sabay sabay kami ng mga kaklase ko.
a little help from destiny
55 | P a g e
Napagod ako kaya pagkarating ko sa bahay pinagpahinga na ako ni mom dahil sinisi
nat na
ako. That meant I didn t join the party downstairs. Umakyat sila Aunt Sachi sa kwa
rto ko para
tignan ako at batiin ako pero saglit lang din yun dahil aalis din sila agad.

Ngayon New Year ko sila makikita ulit, mama invited them for New Year s Eve. At da
hil during
New Year kay dad kami, nandun ako kasama sila.
Kakatapos ko lang magbihis nang may kumatok sa kwarto ko, nagpunta ako sa pinto
at
binuksan to. Kim?
Kim stands there wearing a vintage shirt of the Beatles and ragged jeans. I furr
ow my brow at
him he seems different. Hey. He greets shyly. I came to get you, we?ll be going to
Church.
Ah hindi ako sasama sa inyo. Hahatid ako ni Karl kayla Lani ngayon. I inform him.
Inaya kasi
ako ng parents ni Lani na sakanila mag-dinner ngayon New Year s Eve. I can t say no
to them
after all, they re Louie s family.
Dad said I could go, basta daw ay makabalik ako before Midnight dahil nandito ri
n yung mga
aunt and uncle ko.
I?ll drive you.
I smile at him. Ayaw din pumunta ni Karl sa simbahan kaya mas gugustuhin nun na h
atid ako.
sabi ko at naglakad sa may kama ko at kinuha yung purse ko. Pumunta ako sa may d
esk ko at
kinuha yung phone at nilagay to sa purse ko.
Lumabas na ako ng kwarto at sinara ito, nakatingin lang sa akin si Kim. Ngumiti
lang ako sa
kanya. Pababa na ako ng hagdan nang nagsalita si Kim. Are you going because you w
ant to
avoid spending time with me?
Liningon ko siya at gusto kong sabihin sa kanya na hindi lahat ay tungkol sa kan
ya kaso nang
nakita ko ang mukha niya, nawala na yung sasabihin ko. He looks hurt. Kim. I start
, I?m not.
a little help from destiny
56 | P a g e
I?m going because I want to spend time with them. There was once a time when I t
hought that I
would be part of that family and I really want to be there. I tell him.
Siguro mas mali yung sinabi ko dahil mas lalo siyang mukhang nasaktan. Can I at l
east drive
you? he asks, his eyes pleading me to say yes.
So I agree to let him drive me to the Salazar s place at Tagaytay, tuwing Christma
s kasi nasa
Tagaytay sila. Bago kami umalis ni Kim ay nagpakita muna ako kayla Aunt Sachi at
nagpaalam
ulit kay dad.
Tahimik kami sa byahe haggang sinabi ko na mag stop kami sa 7-eleven dahil bibil
i ako ng
paper bag, naubusan kasi ako ng gift wrap sa bahay pati paper bag para sa regalo
ko sa mom
ni Lani at ngayon ko lang naalala.
Hindi na ako bumaba at si Kim na yung pumasok sa loob ng convenient store at bum
ili ng
paper bag. Nang bumalik siya at pumasok sa kotse ulit, binigay niya sa akin yung
paper bag na
kulay green at may mga Christmas balls.
Nilabas ko yung regalo ko mula sa bag ko, nilapag ko to at kinuha rin yung crepe
paper para
ibalot lang. Habang kinukuha ko yung crepe paper ay kinuha ni Kim sa akin yung r
egalo ko at

tinignan.
I wait for his reaction because I know there would be.
You look so different. Kim says as he looks at the photo. This is the girl that I s
aw that day. He
adds. I know he s talking about the day he first saw me back at dad s place, the one
. This smile,
I?ve always longed to see that to your face and know that I?m the one that put i
t. He says as his
fingers trace the photo, his voice pains me and I wonder how many times do I hav
e to hurt this
guy beside me?
How could you say that it?s the same girl? It?s been years since you first saw me
. I say trying to
soothe him, even when I know that girl he saw and the girl in the picture was th
e same.
a little help from destiny
57 | P a g e
I have an eidetic memory, Mary. He huffs. I don?t know this girl, only that she was
the reason
why I believed the nonsense of falling in love at first sight. I?ve argued the p
hrase throughout
elementary debates, said it was only attraction at first sight but that girl pro
ved me wrong. I miss
that girl even when I did not know her then. He hands me back the picture frame.
I take it and stare at it. I miss her too. I painfully admit. It is painful to adm
it that I am not the girl
I used to be. I guess when Louie died, she also died with him. I never used the wo
rd died/dead
when talking about Louie, it just hurt more, this time it seems appropriate to u
se the word
because the me back then also died, she just didn t leave, she died with him.
Do
he starts uneasy. Do you sometimes wish you could return to being that girl? he as
ks.
Do I wish? No. Why would I wish to be that girl when I could wish for something
more, when I
could wish for God to bring back Louie? And why would I want that girl to come b
ack when
Louie is not here anymore? She s just the reminder that I am still the broken litt
le girl Louie saved.
I shake my head no. I can?t be that girl anymore, Ian. I can t be that girl because
that girl was
vulnerable, that girl was broken I?m still broken but Louie was there to pull her up
from
drowning too much from the sorrow. That girl was dependent to Louie. The day Lou
ie left me, I
knew I couldn t be dependent on anyone else anymore, they ll just leave one way or t
he other.
So I shut that door and locked it with so many locks and threw the keys from the
edge of the cliff.
Funny now, I remember what Dr. Collins told me the first time we met, that one d
ay I will find
myself falling from the edge of a cliff and I would never pull up. She didn't kn
ow then that the
keys from the locks that I put on my heart was on that cliff too. She was right
though, once I fall, I
could no longer go back up on my own or even when someone finally takes notice b
ecause
then that someone might see all those keys beside me and take it.
I couldn t risk anyone taking keys from the cliff. I threw it all for a reason and
that s to never let

anyone in ever again. So, I think it would not be too bad if I do fall someday,
at least I have the
keys with me and no one will ever find it.
I shake my head mentally, trying to go back to the reality. This is insane, one
picture just brought
back some thoughts I buried deep, to admit even to myself that so many things ha
ve changed
when Louie left, that I have changed. But I didn t change, I simply hid beneath th
e facade I
created.
a little help from destiny
58 | P a g e
When was this taken? he asks, he knows me too well to know that I can t keep talking
about
that girl. He knows I d pulled back.
I stare back at the photo and smile. It was a photograph of me with the Salazar
clan. Complete
with Nana Louie s grandmother it was taken when I was nine years old, I just cried and
Louie
comforted me as usual. Nine years old. I cried over not having my parents or anyo
ne in my
family come to Family Day at school. Tradition sa school yung Family Day pag gra
de three ka.
Epic daw lagi yun. Excited ako kasi naalala ko yung Family Day ni kuya. Sabi ko,
hindi ko na
dinagdag pa na nung grade three si Kuya, pumunta sila mom at dad akala ko tig-is
a kami ni
kuya, naghintay ako sa kanila tas dumating si Yaya. Sabi ko nun, ayos lang may n
ext year pa
naman eh. But the next year, Yaya attended mine again. There was no reason for t
hem to not
attend that time because Family Day was only for Grade one to three.
Sabi ko ulit, busy lang sila. Ayun din ang sinabi ko sa mga classmates ko nung s
i Yaya na naman.
Pero nung grade three na ako, inamin ko na sa sarili ko, dati ko pa naman alam y
un. Dinala
ako ni Louie sa kanila nung tinawagan ko siya at umiyak sa kanya. Nandun yung Ti
to at Tita niya
pati si Nana. Lalo akong umiyak nung na-realize ko na ayun yung isang bagay na w
ala ako. I
can never have a family who could love me unconditionally. I can never have a fa
mily period.
I force the tears that are threatening to fall to stay right where they are, ins
ide my eyes. Silence
envelopeds us and I know he is waiting for me to continue my little tale, this i
s his only way of
getting to my head anyway. Tito picked me up and rocked me back and forth, tellin
g me to
stop crying
comforting me the way I never was comforted Tita was there right by our si
de
and her hands on my head gently patting it and she told me that I have a family
in them, I?m
part of their family. That family was never about blood, it was about who can lo
ve you
unconditionally and that was her way of telling me that she loved me uncondition
ally. And I let
the tears to fall. Sabi ni Nana, dapat daw may family picture kami para maalala k
o lagi na
hindi ako nag-iisa.
I still remember that day, ayun yung isa sa mga pinakamasayang araw sa buhay ko.

I was
surrounded by people who accepted me and I would never forget their kindness. Si
Kuya Drake,
kinuha agad yung camera at tripod at si Lani, pinunasan yung mukha ko, si Louie
hawak hawak
lang yung kamay ko habang nakangiti sa akin na sinasabi na I would always have t
hem him
in my life.
I brush the tears aside and look at the photograph once last time before I wrap
it on the crepe
paper. I will always remember yung sinabi ni Tita nun, sabi niya one day talagang
magiging
part ako ng family nila legally. Alam mo yung inisip ko nun?
a little help from destiny
59 | P a g e
Kim shakes his head but smiles. I?m guessing you thought about marrying Louie.
I shake my head. Masyado pa akong inosente para maisip yun. Inisip ko lang dun na
aampunin na ako nila Tita. Natuwa ako sa inisip ko kaya habang umakyat sila Loui
e at Lani
para magpalit at magsuot ng parehas na damit ay sinabi ko kay Kuya Drake na magi
ging
kapatid ko na sila Louie at Lani. He just laughed at me and said Lani, could be
my sister but
never Louie. Iiyak na sana ulit ako nun kasi sympre bakit si Lani lang pero sina
bi ni Kuya Drake
na one day, Louie would mean more than a brother to me. To think now, Kuya Drake
even at
fifteen was always deep. I chuckle at the memory. I miss everyone, I distanced my
self around
them since there was no more Louie, I talk to Lani but it s still different, si Ku
ya Drake, I don t even
know where he is right now.
You mean, when you were still a child everyone just assumed you?d be Mrs. Louie S
alazar?
I shrug. I guess. I knew I would be Mrs. Salazar when I finally saw Louie as a bo
y. I knew that no
matter what the future holds for us, I would someday be the Mrs. Salazar wearing
the family
heirloom. I admit, I gently wrap the picture frame to the crepe paper. Nung nakita
ko yung
picture frame sa antique shop na dinala ako ni mom, I knew instantly that the ph
oto would look
so beautiful in it so I bought it. It was meant for me but Tita called and well
I remembered her
words so I wanted to tell her that I?m still part of them, I wanted her to remem
ber that their family
helped me a lot during my childhood. That the love they gave me unconditionally
is requited. I
explain my gift. Pagkatapos ko itong ibalot sa crepe paper ay nilagay ko na siya
sa paper bag.
It?s a simple gift, hindi nga gaanong kamahal dahil scanned lang yung picture per
o I?m sure it
will be appreciated. It?s more than the picture anyway, it?s about letting them
know that the
photo helps me get through everything because I know I have a family out there s
omewhere.
I never knew about your past with your family. Kim remarks. Of course, he never kn
ew, I never
told him or anyone about it. I doubt Karl told him the crappy past I had, what m
y family put me

through. Why would he when it clearly would dent the image my family held on for
dear life?
It?s never in the past, if it was then it would mean it stopped from hurting. Hind
i ko alam kung
bakit ko to sinasabi ngayon kay Kim, siguro sa isip ko isa tong means to an end.
It never did
stop. I murmur.
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60 | P a g e
Kim looks at me and all I could see is the sympathy I never want from him or any
one else. This is
why I never did tell anyone, why I put a facade in me. What happened to you? he as
ks putting
aside his sympathy, needing to know what could possibly happened in the past tha
t would
never stop from giving me pain.
I shrug. I got broken. I say and before he could utter a word, I say the words tha
t needed to be
said. Louie saved me but he?s gone now and I don't think anyone could save me eve
r again.
He opens his mouth to say something but then closes it again. He breathes deeply
before
opening his mouth again. Louie saved you. in those three little words held so much
emotions,
meant so much, he agreed with that I just told him with those three words.
Louie saved you.
I could see that it was hard for him to say those words, to admit that I could n
ever be saved by
anyone other than Louie, so might as well stop trying.
Hindi pa dapat ngayon yung oras para sabihin sa kanya yung isang bagay na alam k
o na
expected na niyang marinig sa akin at tatanggi na naman siya pero alam ko ngayon
, he would
get it.
I told myself when I was with Allen that it was not just Louie holding me back,
it was my sickness
and yes it was but Louie would forever be holding me back to let anyone in. To b
e saved by
anyone would be wrong.
Kim would be trying to save me, I know he s trying. He thinks that he could save m
e from HCM,
that he could save me from dying, he s trying Aunt Sachi told me how he spends his
time in the
library and the hospital to learn more about HCM.
Kim s a lifeguard. He needs to save me but he could never do it. It will just hurt
him more to try
when we both know he can t. That not only I d be forever stuck but I d be dead too. He
knows
that but he won t admit it.
a little help from destiny
61 | P a g e
He s still living his life through rose colored glasses. Who could blame him?
But I need to tell him, I need to stop the pain I m inflicting. Kim would stay no
matter how hard I
tell him I m dying, so the one thing that could make him go is also Louie.
Louie saved you.
Those words would forever be etched to his memory. Hindi man ito yung oras na pl
inano ko para
dito pero eto yung perfect time para gawin to. Habang nasa paligid pa namin yung
sinabi niya.

Yung kinuwento ko sa kanya. Habang fresh pa ang lahat.


It s really time I do something selfless.
Ian, let me go and forget about me.
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62 | P a g e
Chapter39
Being Bold and Daring
I stare at my own reflection. Wow. I look so different. This isn t the innocent Ma
ry whom everyone
likes to see every time. I look sexy and I m proud of myself that I fought for thi
s. Mom didn t
approve, said it s too bold of me.
I smile as I twirl around. I m so happy. This is the start of the new Mary. The se
xy and daring Mary. I
no longer need to be known as the innocent and naive Mary, tonight, I will show
everyone that I
can change. That I m not as naive as they like to believe.
Ang ganda mo, Mary. Yaya beams. Tiyak yan maraming magsasayaw sayo mamaya.
I laugh, tonight is our school s prom. Mom wanted me to wear the gown she had chos
en for me,
I refused. Mom didn t like my choice of design, she even told me that she won t pay
for it. I
didn't care, I have enough money to pay for it anyway. Hindi ko rin pinagawa sa
regular shop
na pinupuntahan namin ni mom tuwing kailangan ko ng mga formal gown, sympre mom
pays
them handsomely and they would flatly refuse my choice. Kaya sumama ako kay Chel
sea kung
saan niya pinapagawa yung gowns niya at dun ako nagpatahi.
Chelsea is the only person who knows about my gown for tonight. Nagkabati kami n
ung start ng
bagong term, hindi nga lang na kami masyadong close pero dahil sa prom dahil clo
se ulit kami.
We had our little secrets. We both had our sexy gowns made. We both wanted to be
bold and
daring.
Yaya picks up the camera and takes a shot of me, I smile as the flash goes off. Y
an may
mabibigay na ako kay Kim. She comments as she looks over the photos she shot.
Yaya! I scold.
She shrugs. Gusto niya daw makita yung gown mo. She says she has always like Kim.
So, no
wonder there really.
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63 | P a g e
I talk to Kim not regularly but we talk, it s just friendly. Even when I told him
to let me go, he hasn t.
He just won t take the memo. I guess he s just as stubborn as I am. So we talk. I al
so talk to Dr.
Collins once a week through video conference.
She s still persistent that I start talking about my childhood. She takes keen int
erest over the hold
Louie has over me. Of course, I haven t told her anything about it, it s not part of
the deal I
made with mom. She said all I need to do is to talk to Dr. Collins about having
HCM, no other
things.
I m just being a good daughter and following my mom s instruction anyway.
Yaya and I walk down the house and my mom is waiting at the living room, when sh
e sees me I

see the disapproval in her eyes, she studies me with her eyes, up and down. Star
ting with my
new haircut, I like my haircut, I like the fringe, of course mom doesn t very much
like it but I m
sixteen and I definitely won t take let her order me around.
You look beautiful Mary. She compliments.
My smile widen at her compliment. I know she doesn t like that I chose this gown o
ver the gown
she had made for me, the princess type gown. The conservative gown with all thos
e laces,
ruffles and petticoats.
Hindi sa ayaw ko sa ganun na gown, as much I hate to admit it right now, I like
those types of
gowns. It s who I am, I grew up poise and proper but just for now, I just want to
live.
I might die tomorrow and I don t want to regret that I never lived my life. I want
to be bold. To do
things I never once imagine I would like to do and this is the example of those
things I want to do.
I m not saying I want to do those daredevil things like skydiving or sorts, all I m
saying is that I
want to live, I want to live as a sixteen year old girl. I m a senior for God s sake
s and I m afraid to
loosen myself up.
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64 | P a g e
Thanks mom.
We make our way to the car, everyone compliments me as we go. On our way to the
venue,
mom talks about my check up tomorrow. I tune out the moment I hear her say appoi
ntment.
Ayaw kong pinag-uusapan yung regular visits ko sa hospital, ayaw kong may dalawa
ng araw
in this case isa lang dahil walang pasok bukas akong mami-miss na school days dah
il sa mga
test na ginagawa sa akin. I don t like going to the hospital, it makes me cringe a
s I see those
doctors and nurses, even the patients. I hate the smell of it.
No matter how they glam up the hospital, for me it will always feel like a priso
n. It smells like
death. It always seems gloomy for me.
Manong opens the door once we reach the venue, there s a red carpet and everyone i
s still
outside checking everybody out. I breathe deeply, gosh I m so nervous. Hindi ko al
am kung
anong magiging reaction ng lahat sa oras na makita nila yung suot suot ko.
Mom goes out first and she smiles as Ms. Leslie walks over the car. She holds he
r hand for me and
I wait for Ms. Leslie to come.
Ms. Leslie greets mom and then she turns to look inside the car. Her jaw drops a
s I hop down the
car. Mary. She starts. You look stunning, dearest.
I grin at her. Like it?
She nods at me approvingly. Hindi ko lang sure sa ibang teachers mo. She says. She
turns to
mom. Ako na po yung magpapasok kay Mary sa loob. By eleven po papapasukin yung
chaperones kung gustong mapanood yung awarding ceremony. She informs mom.
Mom nods and she turns to me. Have fun. She says and kisses me on the cheek before
going
inside the car again, Manong salutes me and closes the door for mom, and he wave

s goodbye
as he circles back to the driver s seat.
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65 | P a g e
Ms. Leslie and I walk inside the venue, everyone was staring with their mouth op
ening wide with
shock. Oh my God. I never really think the effect of my new style would make peo
ple s jaw drop
at the sight of me.
I giggle and Ms. Leslie shoots me a look, I shake my head in amusement as the th
ought if
everyone s jaw dropping what would my teachers reactions would be, I m pretty sure i
t will be
priceless especially Ms. Rosario s reaction. God. I wish she won t faint.
Cyril s at the table with the other prom committee. His jaw drops as he takes one
look at me. He
stands up from his chair and takes his coat off him, he walks towards me and wra
ps me with his
coat. What the hell are you wearing? he growls. I could see your cleavage from afar
!
I giggle. Jeez Cy. Chill. Don?t I look sexy?
Of course you do! Kaya lang masydong revealing yung suot mo! Cyril chides, he lead
s me to
the long table, everybody greets me, and he sits me down at the chair he occupie
d a minute
ago.
Rhiannon pushes the attendance sheet towards me and smiles at me, she looks grea
t,
everybody does.
I sign my name at the sheet and look over it, I smile as I see Carmina and Ynna s
names jotted
down the sheet. I want to look for them but I know that Cyril won t let me out of
his sight. He s
such a bore.
So I stay with the committee, it s really boring, the only upside is that I get to
judge everyone with
their outfit. Juniors are trying hard to copy last year s and the seniors are well
seniors. We don't
follow protocol.
I feel cold and actually grateful that Cyril gave his coat earlier. I push mysel
f up, I really want to
go up and look for my friends, they ve been here and my classmates are upstairs al
ready.
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66 | P a g e
Cyril looks over me. Saan ka pupunta? he asks.
I am about to answer when I hear someone clears his throat. I turn my head aroun
d and hold
my breath. Jeez. He looks very manly with his black tuxedo, I hide a smile as I
see the color of his
bowtie.
What a coincidence that is. It matches the color of my gown.
Mary. Allen greets me, I know that just like Cyril he doesn t approve my choice of g
own for
tonight. I can see it.
Hi Allen. I greet him. Sign ka na diyan oh. I tell him and wait for him to sign.
He does and I smile at him. He looks back at me and smiles.
I walk towards him and place my right hand on his arm. Come akyat na tayo. I say,
he looks at
me in surprise. I think he can see the surprise in my face too, I don t know why I

just did that. It just


came naturally.
He nods and leads me away.
I can feel Cyril s cold stare at my back, I did not dare turn around to see if I m r
ight, I know I am. I
could feel it.
Allen doesn t push my hand away from his arms and I am grateful for it, he takes i
t and holds it
as we go up from the escalator. Alam ko hindi ko lugar para sabihin sayo na hindi
ko gusto
yung gown mo. Pero ayun ang totoo. Sure ako mamaya niyang pagtitinginan ka ng mg
a lalaki.
I just want to be bold Allen.
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67 | P a g e
He sighs. Hindi mo kailangan maging bold para lang masabi ng tao na malakas ka. I
know
you?re strong. He says. He can really see right through me. He s right, I do want t
o let people
know that I am strong. If only Allen know why I want to be seen as strong. You lo
ok beautiful.
And you?re always sexy for me.
I giggle. I thank whoever designed the escalator for having it made longer than
the usual
escalator. I miss talking to Allen. Sus bolero.
Pwede bang humingi ng pabor Mary? he asks me.
I nod. Sure fire away.
Pwede tanggihan mo kung sino man mag-aaya sayong sumayaw mamaya? Pati yung mga
magpapa-picture na lalaki? he asks me.
I look at him stun. What the hell right? Allen
He shakes his head. Mary, hindi ko kayang mapanood yung mga lalaki na tignan yung
dibdib
mo, na ilagay nila yung kamay nila sa likod mo o sa kahit anong parte ng katawan
mo. O di
kaya tignan nila yung legs mo.
I don?t know. I say. This is my last prom and I want to dance with everyone, I wan
t to have fun.
How can I have fun if I just sit and watch everyone dance? I know he s jealous but
he s going to
dance with other girls so why can t I?
Mary, baka makasuntok ako pag nakita kong mali yung tinitignan ng lalaking kasaya
w mo.
Kaya please Mary. Kung gusto mo hindi rin ako ako sasayaw. He offers.
I guess he has the right reason, I think Cyril will ask me not to dance later to
o. Cyril is finding the
right time to tell me so, I think. I nod at him. Sige pero okay lang kung gusto m
ong magsayaw.
I tell him.
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68 | P a g e
I want him to have fun. For himself and for me.
When we reach the second floor, Carmina beams at me and Allen lets go of my hand
. He smiles
at me and leans over to whisper something. Thank you Mary. He says and walks away
from
me.
Carmina shoots me a questioning look and I shrug. It s not like I can tell her tha
t Allen doesn t
want me to dance. We walk to our classmates and everyone smiles at me. We talk a
s we wait to

be ushered inside.
I can have fun even I won t be dancing. I mean, it s not like it s all about dancing r
ight? I can
help my teachers and eat all night.
I will be having fun tonight.
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69 | P a g e
Chapter40
The First and Last Dance
Riley takes my hand and places it in his arms as we wait for the two people in f
ront of us walk
inside the hall. I m nervous. I shouldn t be but I am. Not every teacher has seen me
with my
gown and now I will be walking that red carpet and I will be judged.
I mean para sa awarding mamaya. Yung gown ko at ako. Pati si Riley din. I know o
nce my
Christian Living teacher sees me in this provocative gown, he will look at me di
sapprovingly. Gah.
Ms. Ryn looked at me and shook her head.
But I don t care. This is my night.
So I let Riley guide me as we walk towards the red carpet, Sir Matt is in front
near the stage, his
eyes drop as he scans me. He shakes his head and writes something in his notepad
. Gah. He s
one of the judges.
I don t care about winning. Hindi ko naman kailangan manalo pero at least a part o
f me
assumes I m going to take home a price, I mean I am Mary, the girl everyone envies
. Pero
ngayon sure akong wala akong makukuhang award, Sir Matt would never let someone
dressed
as provocative as me win.
Riley leads me to my table, the table is near the dance floor, oh how that floor
is mocking me
right now. I m no dancer but I like to try sometimes, I m always moving you know, al
ways
swaying my body as I stand. I can t stand up straight and just be still. I need to
move and it s one
fault of mine that I really really hate.
Carmina sits next me and we wait till Ynna and the others sit beside us but whil
e we wait, we
comment on everybody s outfit tonight.
So ano yung binulong sayo ni Allen kanina? she asks.
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70 | P a g e
I can t tell her. I know she s been waiting to ask me about it but I can t. She will g
et mad at Allen
because of it. She doesn t like it when guys have to be so controlling. Hell her l
ast boyfriend
asked her to stop from gawking our Calligraphy teacher Sir Damon, well you can t s
ay that to
Carmina, she s stubborn sometimes I think that s why we grew closer and she just doesn t
want anyone to tell her what to do or not to do.
Kaya hindi ko kayang sabihin kay Carmina yun. I m sure she ll say something between
the hell
with him and go dance and make him swoon. Or maybe she ll go where Allen is and te
ll him her
opinions.
Gosh. That would mean she ll be making a scene.
Wala sabi lang niya ang ganda ko raw. I shrug. It s not really a lie right? He did t

ell me I look
beautiful.
She smiles. Obvious naman na maganda ka eh. I think you?re hiding something. Sigu
ro sinabi
niya sayong sexy ka ano!? she exclaims.
I blush which for her means that he did say something like that.
I knew it! May gusto parin sayo si Allen!
I can t deny that. Wow. I sound so cocky. But I can still feel he still has feelin
g for me, even when I
told him to let me go. I guess when you love someone, even when people tell you
to let go you
just can't.
I mean, I also can t let go of Louie so I understand but
It s different.
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71 | P a g e
Our prom starts with an opening prayer, which Cyril leads. The next is the Natio
nal Anthem,
which Ynna sings. An opening remark from our dearest principal and lastly is the
introduction of
the junior dance formal.
I watch as the third years dance the cotillion and then shifts to the modern dan
ce with the
rendition of Katy Perry s Teenage Dream. I can t say that it s great because I know ou
rs is much
more than that.
When it s our turn, I mean my batch s turn for the social and modern dance, I stay a
t the table.
I m not included in the dance because during the first and second practice, I had
a hard time
breathing. Well they couldn't always watch over me during practice and I guess i
t was really a
bother. So Ms. Ryn suggested that I don t join the dance and will just right an es
say about it to
be submitted after the prom.
At first, I got really upset, I wanted to join the dance too! Pero nung nabubuo
na yung modern
dance, I felt relieved na hindi ako kasali. The steps were so difficult. Ang dam
ing napahiya dahil
maraming hindi nakasunod, ano pa kaya ako? I have two left feet, I dance stiffly
, I move like a
damn robot. Kaya natuwa ako at isa pa it s too sensual.
It s a product of Dirty Dancing and Footloose. Two movies that I really like by th
e way but the
steps are too hard for me anyway so it s alright.
I watch in amazement as they dance. Nung general practice medyo gulo gulo pa to
pero
ngayon sobrang ayos, sobrang linis nung sayaw nila.
Pagkatapos ng social and modern dance ng seniors, nag open na yung buffet at pwe
de ng
kumain. May dalawang buffet, isa para sa juniors at isa sa seniors, hiwalay tala
ga sila sa amin.
Hindi na ako nag-abalang tumayo dahil sigurado ako na kinukuha na ako ni Cyril n
g pagkain.
Nagsibalikan na sila Carmina sa table namin at hinintay nila mulang dumating si
Cyril.
Dumating si Cyril pero wala siyang hawak na pagkain. Tara nasa table ko yung pagk
ain mo.
Sabi niya. Tumayo na ako at nagpaalam kayla Carmina, alam ko naman kung bakit ka
ilangan

sa ibang table ako kumain, iinom ako ng gamot na si Cyril ang may hawak.
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72 | P a g e
Kaming dalawa lang yung nasa table at tahimik kaming kumain, siguro nagtatampo p
arin si
Cyril dahil bigla akong umalis. Hindi ko nalang pinansin dahil nagugutom ako at
gusto ko lang
kumain.
Binigay sa akin ni Cyril yung gamot ko at ininom ko to. Pagkatapos ay hinubad ko
yung coat ni
Cyril na kanina ko pa suot suot. Hindi na naman ako masyadong nilalamig at baka
kailangan
niya.
I walk back to my table coatless. Nagsimula na yung sayawan, lahat ay nage-enjoy
, may iba rin
na nakaupo lang, yung mga tinatawag na wallflower. Jeez. I m turning into one of t
hem.
Maraming nag-aya sa akin, tulad ng mga old classmates ko na sila Den pero sympre
kahit pa
alam kilala ko sila Den at kilala rin ni Allen sila, tumanggi parin ako. I made
a promise.
I just laugh as my friends try to pull me towards the dance floor, I shake my he
ad laughing but
slightly feeling that I really want to go dance and enjoy. I shake the feeling a
way.
I watch them and I look around and see Allen sitting at his table alone watching
me. He smiles
at me and I return it. My phone rings, which bring me back to reality, I dig it
out my purse and
frown.
Why is he calling right now? I m curious so I answer it. Hello?
Please tell you?re not dancing with anyone. Kim groans.
I chuckle. Jeez. I?m not. I haven?t been in the dance floor.
You haven?t? he asks.
No.
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73 | P a g e
Thank God. He breathes. Yaya emailed me your photos, God, Mary what the hell do you
think you?re doing wearing something like that? he growls.
I frown. I am thinking I look sexy as hell. I say.
You are. His voice softens. But it?s too much. Too much skin. I don?t like it.
I smile. Really, I wonder why guys are such hypocrites. They like skimpy little
shorts on other girls so
why can t they like something like those in their girlfriends. I m not saying I am s
omeone s
girlfriend pero ganun kasi diba. Porket ba may feelings yung guy sa babae, bawal
ng magsuot
ng ganun yung girl? It s wrong!
They can ogle other girls but they don t like seeing their girls wearing those sex
y and daring
clothes. What the hell right.
You don?t have to like it. I like it and that?s the only opinion that really matt
ers.
I?m sorry. I?m just a little protective and jealous. They get to see you and gawk
at you. I really
hate feeling like this. Those guys should not dare stare at your chest or legs o
r even touch you.
Jeez. What do you think will happen Kim? Hindi naman ganun ka provocative yung go
wn ko!
Ayos pa nga to eh! Kung nakita mo lang yung ibang designs baka sumabog na yung m

ata mo!
He laughs God I hope I won?t be seeing you in those. He says. I?m going to let you
go and let
you have fun but please don?t dance with those guys.
I sigh. I won?t, okay. Sa totoo lang may nauna ng nagsabi sa akin na wag mag saya
w. Kaya
hindi talaga ako magsasayaw. I say and I realize it s wrong. I shouldn t have told hi
m that.
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74 | P a g e
I?m glad Cyril is acting like a protective brother to you tonight. He says. Good.
He thinks Cyril s
the one who asked me not to dance. Enjoy the rest of your night. He says and hangs
up.
It s really a relief. I don t want to start making excuses if he finds out it s Allen.
Kim knows that
Allen dumped me for another girl, that he didn t like the package deal as I put it
to Kim before.
The baggage that Louie will always be a part of me.
Hindi ko alam kung bakit ayun yung sinabi ko kay Kim pero ayun yung lumabas nung
tinanong
niya ako. Siguro dahil alam ko na a part of Kim still feels guilty over the fact
that he betrayed me
with my best friend Pat dahil kay Louie. Kaya ayun yung sinabi ko, para siguro i
paalam sa kanya
na hindi lang siya yung lalaking may ayaw sa idea na may Louie na kasama.
I walk towards the comfort room, I stay there until I feel I can breathe again.
Sumakit kasi yug
dibdib ko bigla at ayaw kong may makakita ng mukha ko, nanikip lang yung dibdib
ko at
medyo nahihirapan ako.
Alam ko nakatingin si Allen sa akin kaya umalis ako papunta sa comfort room.
I see Allen standing right outside the comfort room the moment I walk out of the
comfort room. I
look at him in confusion, what is he doing here?
He walks towards me and takes my hand, we walk towards the dark alcove. May I hav
e this
dance? He asks as the music fades and Taylor Swift s Enchanted starts playing. He s
miles.
I smile. Akala ko ba bawal akong magsayaw ngayong gabi? I ask him playfully as I c
ircle my
arms around his neck.
He places his hands on my waist in the gentlest way he can of course. He s a gentl
eman and
he s not touching me inappropriately. Siguro naman pwede kang gumawa ng exception.
I beam. Now, now Mr. Santiago that would be unfair to the other guys pining after
me. I tease.
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75 | P a g e
They didn?t ask the DJ to play Taylor Swift for you so let me off the hook.
Ikaw nag request yan? I ask. Wow.
He nods. Alam ko naman kung gaano mo kagusto si Taylor Swift. Ayos ba yung kanta?
Eto
yung gusto kong kanta niya. He says.
I smile brightly at him. Nakinig ka ng kanta ni Taylor Swift?
For you. he says sweetly.
I rest my head to his shoulder and close my eyes. It feels good to be in his arm
s. Thank you
Allen.
Para saan?

Para sa lahat. Para sa pag-iintindi sa akin kahit pa nasaktan kita.


We sway as he holds me close. Mahal kita kaya gagawin ko lahat ng gusto mo. Hindi
ko man
gusto yung hiniling mo nung pasko pero naiintindihan ko. At maghihintay ako Mary
sa ayaw o
sa gusto mo, hihintayin ko na buksan mo ulit yang puso mo para sa iba.
We stay quiet and just let the music sway us.
Please don?t be in love with someone else. Please don?t have somebody waiting on
you
The music ends, the last sentences Taylor Swift said in her song hangs over us,
I slip away from
him but he pulls me to him and hugs me for a minute or two, after it, he wraps h
is coat to me. I
smile as thank you and walk back to my table.
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76 | P a g e
When I am about to sit, my friends ambush me with a surprise. Kevin Liu is stand
ing in front of me,
his right hand at the back of his neck and he looks so uneasy. Will you dance wit
h me? he asks,
my friends so as his start to cheer us.
I glance over my side and see Allen startled. He looks at Kevin and then me. He
starts to shake
his head but stops midway, he nods at me maybe because he also knows as well as
I do that I
can t refuse when everyone is cheering, it ll be rude.
I mouth sorry at him but he smiles tightly at me and so I let Kevin Liu lead me
to the dance floor. I
tell him, I m uncertain with this and he smiles at me saying I just need to relax.
So I do even when
I know everyone is watching.
The music ends and Ynna suggests a photo of him and me. I reluctantly agree. I s
mile and pose
for the camera. After Kevin Liu leaves our table, Ynna and Carmina gushes over t
hat Kevin Liu is
my first and last dance because as it seems the dance time is over and it s time f
or the awarding
ceremony.
They don t know though that my first is Allen.
And they will never know because it ll be my secret.
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77 | P a g e
Chapter41
Decisions have to be made
I really hate going to the hospital just for my check up. Why can t they just come
over? Then I
know the answer, our house doesn t have the machines that s needed for me. I sigh as
I put on
a jeans and a white tee.
I am too tired to actually dress, last night mom allowed me to go with Chelsea a
nd the others to
this restaurant, mom only allowed me when she found out Cyril was coming along w
ith us and
we were going to change. What mom didn t know was that both Chelsea s dress and mine
were sexy and tight.
What she doesn t know won t hurt her anyway.
So we stayed at the restaurant until three am, it s a 24 hour restaurant and we we
re having fun,
the other guys left to find a bar, they invited us but of course with Cyril by o
ur side we can t.

Mom and I make our way to the office of Dr. De Jesus my cardiologist. I really h
ate going there. I
hate hospitals. I hate it and I hope that I don t have to stay in today.
Dr. De Jesus welcomes us, she proceeds to ask me questions, and I animatedly ans
wer her. A
nurse comes by and leads me for the Echo. After, all the tests are done we make
our way back
to Dr. De Jesus office.
Dr. De Jesus starts talking with mom and I tune out of their conversation.
I think nothing s wrong with me and with that maybe I can go out today with Chelse
a or
Carmina after my check up.
Do you really think it?s okay to bring her to New York? mom asks, I turn my head t
o her. New
York? Who? Me? I m going to New York? But why?
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78 | P a g e
Yes, yung cardiologist na ni-recommend ni Dr. Montenegro ay isa sa mga magagaling
sa field
nito. At isa pa, pag dinala niyo si Mary sa Amerika mas malaking chances niya du
n kaysa dito.
Mas maraming options. Dr. De Jesus says.
Mom nods understanding her words. Sabi nga rin ni Dr. Montenegro na pwede namin s
iyang
dalhin sa Mayo. She says. Pero yung flight kasi Doc, kakayanin ba ni Mary yung nin
eteen
hours?
I don t listen to them again, as far as I know, I ll be going to New York this summe
r. Pat is going to
be there and I might run into her. Oh God. That would be worse.
I don t want to see her ever again, our friendship is over and I m not being dramati
c but seeing
her would make me remember all those awful things she said about Louie. I can t fo
r the love of
me forgive her for that.
Since we are already in BGC, mom says we should buy cupcakes if I want to of cou
rse I want
cupcakes. So we go to Sonja?s to buy a two dozen cupcakes. We eat lunch at BGC t
oo
because I need to take my medications.
Hindi ka papasok bukas, aayusin natin yung Visa mo. Mom announces over lunch.
I look at her questioningly. Bakit? I ask.
Pupunta tayo sa New York. She just says.
I know that she wants me to go to New York but really she won t even ask dad about
it? She s
just going to decide? But of course, she s mom so she pretty much decides everythi
ng.
So I play dumb. Diba sabi mo pupunta tayo sa Hawaii para sa graduation gift ko? I
say, nung
Christmas kasi sinabi niya sa amin ni Kuya na pinapa-book na niya kami sa Hawaii
para sa
graduation gift ko.
a little help from destiny
79 | P a g e
Nung graduation ni Kuya nagpunta kami sa Japan dahil dun yung gusto ni Kuya.
Change of plans. Pag may oras pa pwede siguro tayong pumunta sa Mexico. She says.
I don t answer back, I just eat my lunch. I really don t want to go to New York. Mom s
set though
so I can t do anything, I think she still think that if we go to New York and the
doctors there

suggest that I go proceed with the heart surgery Dr. De Jesus told us if ever my
medications
failed me.
I don t really want to undergo surgery whatever may happen to me. I don t want to di
e under
an operating table. Mas gugustuhin ko pang mamatay sa kama ko o di kaya kahit sa
hospital
bed pero never sa operating table.
I don t want to die open.
I know I m going to die once I proceed with a open heart surgery. I just know it.
So no thank you.
I d rather wait my time.
Mary, may napili ka na bang papasukan? mom asks while we re back in the car. Sa toto
o
lang hindi ako sure kung gusto kong mag enroll this year para sa college. I mean
, I m going to
die so what s the point anyway?
Sayang lang. At isa pa, hindi naman tulad ng high school yung college na pwede m
ong sabihin
na may HCM ka kaya pwede bang wag kang pahirapan masyado? Pwede bang maging
priority ka?
It s not like that.
Another thing is that I want to try to take the SATs. Gusto ko talaga mag aral s
a Yale University. O
kahit saan basta Ivy League. Pero sa totoo lang Yale talaga ang gusto ko. Alam k
o na mas
lalong hindi papayag si mama sa gusto ko.
a little help from destiny
80 | P a g e
Pero pangarap ko talaga mag aral sa Yale, isa to sa mga naging pangarap namin ni
Louie. At
gusto ko sanang tuparin to kahit ako lang mag-isa at least isa sa amin natupad y
ugn pangarap
naming dalawa.
Wala pa. Hindi ko nga sure mom kung anong gusto kong course. I answer. Ayan pa yun
g
isang problema ko, wala akong maisip kung anong gusto ko. I mean gusto kong magi
ng doctor
pero ready ba ako para dun?
At isa pa, ayaw ni mom ng gusto kong course. Gusto niya maging isa akong busines
s major. I
can t. Kahit kalian hindi naging appealing sa akin yung business ad. It seems bori
ng. Predictable.
Sa totoo lang ang gusto ko simula bata palang ako ay mag Law. Pero again, ayaw n
i mom.
I m still taking it slow with her with my wish to be a doctor.
Accounting would be nice. Mom suggests.
I huff and look at the window. I hate Math. I really do. Mom is great with Math; s
he can
mentally solve Math problems in a minute or two. Hindi ko nakuha yung gift niya
with numbers.
Don?t be dramatic Mary. Math is easy and fun.
I huff again. As if. Wala pa akong kilalang tao na sinabi na fun? ang Math. Math
is the definition
of torture in school or in life! It s always been and will always be a torture. I
just really hate Math.
I don t get it why do I need to study Math, I just don t understand Math. Why do I n
eed those
theorems, it s not like I would need it someday. Honestly, if I can, I will always
avoid classes about

Math in college.
a little help from destiny
81 | P a g e
It is. Madali lang ang Math, hindi mo lang talaga sineseryoso ito. mom says. Tignan
mo si
Auntie Becka, sineryoso to naging Mathematician siya.
I scoff. I can t help it. She s really talking about Great Aunite Becka? Sa sobra niy
ang sineryoso
naging matandang dalaga siya at sa huli nabaliw dahil hindi niya ma-solve yung B
irch and
Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture. I point out.
May isa kaming kapamilya sa mother side, isa siyang Mathematician, buong buhay n
iya she
dedicated it to Math. Naging matandang dalaga siya, yung stereotype ng mga spins
ters, totoo
pala yun. Yung may madaming pusa.
I hated visiting her, her house smelled funny. Ang dami pang pusa. Isang araw, n
abalitaan
nalang namin na nasira na yung ulo niya. I mean really nabaliw siya, nasa asylum
na siya sa
England ngayon.
Sabi ni Skye nung binisita nila sa England si Auntie Becka, yung dingding daw ng
kwarto nito
puno ng solutions, pag kinausap mo daw to, sasagot sayo mga x is equal to blah b
lah blah.
Walang nakakaalam kung paano naging ganun si Auntie Becka, isang araw nalang daw
lumabas ng bahay si Auntie Becka na nakahubad at sumisigaw ng Eureka, Eureka.
Pero paano kung na-solve niya talaga yung Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture? K
aya siya
nagsisigaw ng Eureka?? mom asks. Really mom.
I turn to her and roll my eyes. Porket sumigaw lang ng eureka na solve na talaga
? Isa to sa mga
theory ng pamilya namin, mga theory kung paano nabaliw si Auntie Becka. Para sa
akin kaya
nabaliw si Auntie Becka ay dahil sa sobrang daming solutions sa utak niya.
Sumabog nalang siya o di kaya genetic.
Wala rin sagot yung mga doctor sa amin. Really, kaya nga siya dinala sa ibang ba
nsa dahil
akala nilang lahat masasagot yung tanong nila, kung hereditary ba yung kabaliwan
ni Auntie
Becka. Well, walang sagot yung mga doctor.
a little help from destiny
82 | P a g e
Sometimes, I think it s genetic and that scares me the most not death. I d rather di
e than be
crazy.
I wrinkle my nose and turn back looking at the window. Thinking of Auntie Becka
makes me think
of the past and the future. And it s scary.
If you really want to pursue medicine, we?ll talk about it more when you decide w
here to attend
okay?
I nod. I m not really in the mood to talk about college.
I press my head to the window and close my eyes. I really hate talking about Aun
tie Becka it
makes me sentimental. I hate being sentimental.
Mom touches my arm, I look at her with my brows furrowed. We had you tested Mary,
you know
that.
I nod and pull my arm away from her, I close my eyes shutting everything out. I

don t want to
think about it, mom made me remember those awful times.
Empathy.
The word that may or may not saved me. Because nothing really has changed since
then, I m
still the unwanted child.
I really wish we don t hit traffic, I want to go to my room and lock myself in, I
want to ball my
eyes out and cry.
I miss Louie more than anything right now. He s the only one who could pull me up
from this
depression. A depression that is rather self-induced.
a little help from destiny
83 | P a g e
a little help from destiny
84 | P a g e
Chapter42
Nian s sex exploits
Exams are over. Three more weeks and I ll be graduating high school. I don t think I m
ready to
graduate. I don t know.
Nasa classroom lang kami ngayon at walang ginagawa, yung iba ay tinatapos yung m
ga last
minute requirements namin, dahil natapos ko na yung akin at hinihintay ko nalang
na mag
assembly sa great hall para sa seniors ay nakatambay lang ako sa upuan ko at nag
babasa.
Sila Carmina tinatapos pa yung last project para sa Calligraphy. Natapos ko na y
ung akin dahil
si Yaya yung nagsulat, madami kasi akong ginagawang projects last two days on to
p of it,
exam week pa. I am a procrastinator and I do things last minutes. I m much better
doing things
under pressure anyway.
Pero sa dami ng projects na nakatambak lalo na para sa akin dahil marami akong n
a-miss na
homework at activities kaya may mga special projects akong ginagawa. Sobrang nag
ing busy,
may araw na one hour lang tulog ko dahil tinatapos ko yung projects ko at nag re
view ako ng
kunti.
Dad did my woodshop project. Our cook did my Home Ec project, which was to bake
something, and Ate Luz, one of our household staff, did knitting. Dahil si Yaya
yung may
pinakamagandang penmanship ay siya gumawa ng Calligraphy ko.
Yung iba ako na yung gumawa. Problema ko nalang ay yung sa Archery mamaya. We re g
oing
to shoot later.
So
Carmina starts as she sits beside me, she places her stationeries at the top of
the desk.
She turns to look at me with a wide grin in her face.
I sigh as I set my book down, just when I am getting into my book she just has t
o interrupt me with
some stories. Ano? Hindi ba dapat tinatapos mo na yan para sa Calligraphy? I ask.
a little help from destiny
85 | P a g e
Tapos ko na. she says, Lalagay nalang sa envelopes.
Okay. Anong kailangan mo?
Gusto ko ng Mcdo. Pwede tawagan mo si Cyril at sabihin mo bago siya pumasok daan
siya sa

Mcdo?
I laugh. Of course, it ll be about food. Carmina and the food. I nod at her. Sige.
Quarter
Pounder right? she nods eagerly and I pull my phone out of my pocket. I dial Cyri
l s number and
in two rings, he answers. Cy.
Ano? he asks grumpily. Oh no. Cyril s not in a good mood.
Saan ka na?
On the way. Bakit? May kailangan ka ano?
I chuckled nervously. Well, since you asked pwede pabili kami sa Mcdo ni Carmina?
He sighs. Lagpas na ako ng Mcdo.
One hour pa naman bago yung assembly eh! I point out.
Okay. Kayong dalawa lang hindi kasama si Ynna? he asks, he knows us too well. Unfo
rtunately,
Ynna is still at the guidance for the evaluation.
Sige bili mo na rin siya. Yung sundae ko ah! I remind him. We hang up after that a
nd Carmina
beams at me happily.
a little help from destiny
86 | P a g e
Fifteen minutes later, I begin to read again and Carmina starts putting her stat
ioneries inside the
envelopes.
Our classroom door opens and Elsie barges in, she s panting hard and she looks up.
Nahuli si
Nian sa SEX ROOM! she announces.
Everyone gapes at her with our mouth open. In St. Peter High, there s a janitor s cl
oset on the
fifth floor of the high school building, the school staff doesn t use it very much
because it s much
convenient for them to use the one on the second floor. That closet is rumored t
o be known as
where guys bang girls.
It s widely known as the Sex Room, walang creativity yung nagpasimuno nung nicknam
e para
sa closet na yun but it got stuck so everyone just refers to it as the Sex Room.
If you get yourself in that closet with a guy or girl, you re dead. Especially if
you re a girl, rumors
will start spreading and you ll always be referred to the girl who had sex at the
infamous Sex
Room, a whore or slut sometimes when it fits.
Kunti lang ang nahuhuli na pumupunta dun dahil sa mga estudyante lang naman nag
stick yun
except sa teacher dati na nakipag relasyon sa isang estudyante. Oh well. Nian de
serves it, she
flirts with anything that moves.
Everyone ignores Elsie and just goes back working on their projects, just as I s
aid, it s expected.
We all know Nian would get caught someday, she s always making out with someone in
the
stairs or girl s bathroom anyway. But this sure is big, getting caught in the infa
mous Sex Room.
She sure made certain, she ll be famous before we even leave for college.
Kasama si Allen. And that s when everyone stops, I also stop and will myself not to
look at Elsie
or anyone else. May mga iba akong classmates na nakapansin dati sa amin ni Allen
nung nasa
Tagaytay kami, isa na dun ay si Ran kaya alam ko nakatingin siya sa akin ngayon.
I don t look at anyone, I pretend to be calm and nonchalant when everything inside
me is

screaming what the hell.


a little help from destiny
87 | P a g e
Paano mo naman nalaman yan Els? Ran asks.
I see Elsie rolling her eyes at Ran. Nandun kaya ako sa guidance para sa evaluati
on! Dinala ni
Ms. Flores sila Allen at Nian sa loob, kakatapos ko lang sa evaluation at maghih
intay dapat ako
para kayla Ella at Ynna, pinalabas nga lang ako pero narinig ko yung sinabi ni M
s. Flores kay Ms.
Lola. She tells us.
Ran is about to speak up when Ella and Ynna come inside our classroom, also pant
ing and I
expect they re also going to tell us more about this. Allen and Nian.
Totoo Ella? Riley asks.
Ella nods. May condom pa sa bulsa ni Nian! she exclaims. Grabe si Nian, matatawa ka
yo
sinabi ba naman nung tinanong siya ni Ms. Lola kung ano yung nasa bulsa niya at
ilabas niya to,
sabi ba naman candy lang yun at nung nilabas ayun yung foil packet, talagang pin
ipilit na
candy lang yun. Sumigaw na si Allen at sinabing condom yun.
I feel so down, I know I don t have any business being mad at Allen because I told
him to let go
and move on, I just didn t expect this. I don t know but I feel so betrayed.
Ano daw mangyayari sa dalawa? Tony asks. I m sure he s worried about his friend, I wou
ld be
if I m not feeling so hurt right now, I d worry about what would be the outcome for
Allen.
Hindi magma-march sa graduation at wala atang makukuhang good moral. Ella answers.
I stand up suddenly not wanting to hear any of this crap. I walk out of the room
, I know they
might think something s up if I m acting like this. Let them think what they want, n
asa isip na rin
naman nilang lahat yun dati pa hindi lang nila sinasabi dahil wala silang lakas
ng loob na pag
chismisan ako lalo na kung halos lahat ng bad boy sa batch namin ay ka-close ko,
may
connection sa student government at paborito ng mga teacher.
a little help from destiny
88 | P a g e
I hear two other sets of footsteps and I know Carmina and Ynna are following me
right now. I go
up and straight to the debate clubroom, hoping no one is there right now, I need
to calm my
insides.
I open the door and no one is around. I walk inside and start pacing. Ynna close
s the door and
sits in one of the chairs.
Carmina sits beside her and they both look at me. Feeling crappy? she asks.
I laugh hysterically. Gosh. Inis na inis ako ngayon! Wala akong karapatan magalit
pero grabe,
ang sarap sabutunan ni Nian at saktan si Allen ngayon! I admit to them. Hindi ba a
lam ni Allen
yung three month rule! I say.
Actually, kung tutuusin lagpas ng three months. Ynna says.
Actually hindi nga applicable yung three month rule dahil never naging kayo. Carmi
na butts
in.
I laugh loudly, bring it to these girls to comfort me in the worst possible way.

But this is what I love


about these two, we don t placate one another, we tell the truth flat out even whe
n it stings.
Ang landi niya! I say.
True. / Tama. Ynna and Carmina both say.
Sabi pa niya nung prom maghihintay siya! Ang landi lang talaga! Haggang salita la
ng pala
siya eh! I m so angry that I need to let it all out, to shout. I need this. May pasa
bi sabi pa
siyang mahal niya ako!
Wait kalian kayo nag-usap? Ynna asks.
a little help from destiny
89 | P a g e
Sinayang ko yung prom night ko dahil sa kanya! I whine. I sit defeated in the chai
r opposite
from the both. I look at them. Hindi ako nakapag sayaw dahil sa kanya! I tell them
.
Sabi na nga ba may dahilan kung bakit tanggi ka ng tanggi eh! Carmina exclaims as
she
thuds her hand at the table. Ayun yung sinabi niya sayo ano nung paakyat kayo?
I nod. Sabi niya wag daw ako makipag sayaw dahil baka raw makasuntok siya. Suntok
my ass.
Baka siya suntukin ko ngayon!
Wait. Bago tayo makipag suntukan Kailan niya sinabi sayo na mahal ka niya at maghi
hintay
siya? Hindi naman pwedeng sa escalator parin yun. Mahaba nga yung escalator pero
hindi
ganun kahaba. Ynna asks.
Nag sayaw kami bago niyo ako pinagtulakan kay Kevin Liu. I answer. Ang landi talaga
!
Sa kanya yung coat ano? Carmina asks. I nod again. Nag-uusap pa ba kayo ni Allen
pagkatapos ng prom? she asks.
I nod. Sa text. Well good morning lang at good night. Nagg-gm ako ng good morning
at good
night, magre-reply siya.
Never kang nag gm ah!
I roll my eyes. Duh kunyaring gm lang. I say. Ginagawa ko ay isusulat ko yung good
morning tas
sa ilalim ay may nakasulat na gm. Edi kunyari gm na yun. I feel so stupid!
Why? Ynna asks. Act like you don?t care. It?s his loss anyway. Flip him off.
Oh yeah! Pagselosin mo! Tas silent treatment.
a little help from destiny
90 | P a g e
I m not that petty but the idea sounds great.
Someone knocks on the door and opens it. Girls, your delivery. Cyril says as he wa
lks in with
our food.
Oh thank you Cy! Hindi mo alam kung gaano ko ka kailangan ng comfort food! I excla
im and
run to him. I hug him and he laughs.
I heard. Kaya binili ko na rin kayo ng malaking ice cream. Na postpone yung assem
bly ng
isang oras pa dahil sa fiasco sa guidance kaya enjoy eating girls. Cyril says.
Nasa baba yung wallet ko. I say.
He shakes his head. It?s on me. I hug him again. Mag-uusap tayo mamaya. He whispers.
I nod nervously and he leaves us alone again.
Kumain lang kaming tatlo at nagtawanan. Food really makes me forget about my pro
blems.
Gah. I wish I could eat forever and not be fat.
I d stay away from Allen now. It s solved. I can t look stupid. My pride won t let me an

yway.
a little help from destiny
91 | P a g e
Chapter43
The Dreamer and Realist
Allen had tried to talk to me over the week. I ignored him all the way. There s no
thing left to say
except the fact that even when he didn t cheat on me and that I told him to let go
, he told me
himself that he would wait.
I guess a part of me hoped that he would remain faithful to me. Eto yung sinabi
ko sa kanya dati,
yung kinakatakutan ko, na may darating na bago sa buhay niya at makakalimutan na
niya ako.
I d be happy for him if it wasn t Nian or if it was really serious. It wasn t and it s N
ian.
I m not judging Nian s lifestyle. But she s a flirt and she will always be one. She li
kes the attention
so much. Everyone in the district knows her. And I guess, it s my pride that won t l
et me talk to
Allen. My pride is wounded.
I m at my dad s place, I didn t have anything to do and I wanted to hang out with Karl
, little did
I know, he went out with his buddies. So here, I am at my dad s place and alone wi
th dad and
my step-mom.
I m thinking of going over at Karl s, it s just two streets away and I m sure Tita won t m
ind if I go
there, it s just that I don t really want to be here right now. I just can't take it
.
Dad pupunta ka ba sa Baccalaureate Mass? I ask dad, the three of us eating dinner.
Dad turns to look at me and shakes his head. May lakad ako. Sa graduation mo nala
ng. He
says.
But I know all too well. Hindi ko naman talaga ine-expect na pupunta siya eh, ti
nanong ko lang
dahil ang tahimik at ang awkward ng dinner namin. Pero expected na hindi siya pu
punta.
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92 | P a g e
I don t expect anything from my parents anyway, mom won t go too. It s how my world wo
rks.
I d be lucky if they both show up on graduation.
I?m still rather disappointment. Wala kang makukuhang award. Ma says, her words ma
y seem
nice but I know all too well that behind those words is malice.
Dad stands up and excuses himself for the bathroom.
I wouldn?t blame you, I?d blame your mother. She?s too lax with you and your brot
her. If you
were under my roof, you?d be graduating with honors. She continues.
I wipe my mouth with the table napkin, willing my hands not to shake with anger.
I force myself
to smile at her. I don?t really like being an honor student. It?s too tiresome. I
say and stand up.
Dad comes back. Saan ka pupunta? he asks.
Tapos na akong kumain dad. Punta na ako sa kwarto ko. I say and walk out of the di
ning
room and straight to my room.
Inside the confines of my room, I press my back on the door and close my eyes, m
y knees grow

weak and I sink to the floor. I clutch my phone over my chest and try not to lis
ten to the shouts
downstairs.
Ano na naman ang sinabi mo? dad yells softly at ma.
Ako na naman ang sisisihin mo? Is it always my fault? I just told her about her f
ailures.
Failures? Anong mali na naman ang ginawa sayo ni Mary?
She failed as a valedictorian! Sinayang niya lahat!
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93 | P a g e
Anong gustong mong gawin? May sakit yung bata! Gusto mo pagurin niya yung sarili
niya para
mag-aral? May sakit! Mamatay!
I tune them all out. The screaming and yelling. They think that I don t hear anyth
ing every time
they fight but they re wrong, my room is near the servant s staircase so I could hea
r anything
coming downstairs.
They always fight about me and lately they ve been fighting a lot because I m sick,
I guess.
you spoil them! Tas malalaman ko nalang na nag transfer ka ng pera sa nanay nila?
Para
saan yun? Hindi pa ba sapat yung bahay na tinitirhan nila?
Yung perang yun para kay Mary! Anong gusto mo, hayaan ko nalang na siya lang ang
gumastos sa pagpapagamot sa anak ko? Anak ko yun! Ano na naman ang kinalaman ng
bahay nila? Naiinggit ka ba dahil mansion yung bahay nila? Akin ba yun? Sa nanay
nila yun!
Pamana
I search my phone for my mom s number and hit the call button Mom. I sniff.
Mary? mom answers. What?s wrong?
I will myself not to cry over the phone to mom, there s nothing to gain from it an
yway, just
disappointments and I think I ve reached my limit of disappointments today. Pwede p
asundo
mo na ako?
Akala ko ba diyan ka haggang Monday. Mom says.
hinayaan mo nga na kausapin yung physiatrist! Ano nababaliw na ba yung anak mo?
a little help from destiny
94 | P a g e
I m not sure if mom can hear it but mom doesn t need to hear any of it. Everyone s goi
ng to
fight again.
We had her tested!
I break a sob and I know mom could hear it. Mom please gusto ko ng umuwi.
Okay. Tatawagan ko na si yaya mo at papasundo na kita. Ayusin mo na yung gamit mo
. Uwi
mo lahat ng mga gamit mo diyan. Mom says. I know for sure that she really heard i
t. She s angry,
I think even if my mom is indifferent to me sometimes, when it comes to question
ing my sanity
she gets really mad. She d protect me from it.
And I m content with that at least at some cases she can be a real mother to me, o
ne who
protects her child.
Okay. I hang up. I dial another number and breathe a sigh of relief when he answer
ed so
quickly. Kim. I sob.
I can t tune them out arguing and I need to hear someone. I need to feel comfort a
nd no one
will give it to me except Kim.

What?s wrong? he asks. Why are you crying? he asks me, he really knows me so much th
at
he knows with my voice that I m crying.
I smile sadly. I wish he s here, he s my best friend and I need someone to hold me r
ight now.
Nothing. I just needed to hear your voice. I say. I can t tell him about why I m cryin
g because
he doesn t understand, no one ever does.
Except Louie.
a little help from destiny
95 | P a g e
Maybe Louie didn t understand it too. He just knew about it but maybe he never und
erstood, I
don t know, I may never know. But all I know is that whenever this happened Louie
was always
by my side holding me, comforting me the way no one ever did.
You should have never decided against the physiatrists before.
And that remark is the most painful I heard tonight. It s okay if they all insult
my intelligence, it s
okay if they show how unwanted I am because I learned to keep it in, I m used to t
he insults but
to remind the memories of the past, I never quite learned how to master not to f
eel hurt.
I curl in my stomach and cry with my phone still in my ears, I know Kim can hear
me cry but he
doesn t speak, I hear him walk and seconds later I hear music playing through the
phone.
I hear him play the piano, he s playing the lullaby he wrote for me.
As he plays, I listen and cry. I smile because even when he s not here to hold me
right now, I feel
as though he s here holding me through his music. He s comforting me the only way he
knows
how when he s not around.
I forget the loud screams below and just listen to the music Kim s playing for me.
Minutes later, he
stops but he doesn t speak, he s waiting for me. Thank you. I say because his music ca
lms me
down, helps me forget even for a second how hurt I am right now.
What happened? he asks.
I sit up straight and press my back on the back of the door. I close my eyes and
smile sadly.
Nakwento ko na ba sayo kung paano ako pinanganak? I ask him. I don t remember if I e
ver
told him this story, the story of how I was born.
You never did. He answers. Of course, I didn t. The story was shameful. Shameful for
my part.
Why would I admit the story to anyone? It would wound my ever so wounded pride.
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Why add salt to the wound right?
I?m an unwanted child. I admit. I was the baby who wasn?t supposed to happen. I tell
him. It s
hard to admit it, I sometimes wish I never heard mom talking about it. I should
have not woken
up that fateful night and maybe I would still be blissful with the ignorance. Nob
ody wanted me.
Mary
Kim starts, he doesn t know how to proceed, he doesn t know how to comfort me now.
It?s true. Mom was on medications when I was conceived. I wasn?t supposed to know
about it I
think. Pero alam mo kahit naman hindi nila ipaalam sa akin na unwanted ako, pina

ramdam
naman nila sa akin yun. Kahit hindi ko pa alam yun, ramdam ko na dati pa. And ma
ybe that
was why I was so different. Why I was so broken.
You know that?s not true right? You?re not different. Kim says. And your family lov
es you.
I chuckle humorlessly. This is why he would never understand, he s still living hi
s life through rosecolored
glass. He grew up seeing life with rose-colored glass. I sometimes wish I could
see life the
way he sees it because it seems simple but no, I am cynical.
Maybe someday you?ll understand. I tell him.
Did something happen with your family? Did they hurt you? he asks uncertainly. He s
till
probably believes that my family is just as normal as his is. And I don t plan on
correcting him
right now.
He grew up with a family who loves him. I grew up with my family. I grew up bein
g a realist. Kim
grew up being a dreamer. He doesn t need to know now his misconceptions about my f
amily.
I think it would hurt him because he would know how much I ve been hurting. And fr
ankly, I
don t want to inflict him another pain. I think I ve done enough.
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Nothing happened. I was just being sentimental. It?s probably the meds they gave
me. I lie.
I asked Dr. Collins not to prescribe anti-depression meds. He tells me. I smile ru
efully, there s still
something I m good at that Kim would never see. I m still good at lying.
I?m feeling better now. Thank you.
Mary, I?m here always. I?m just one phone call away. Just call me when you need m
e. Kim says.
I?ll even fly back if you want me too. He adds. And I know he means it.
I chuckle. Maybe I will. I say. Seconds pass and we don t speak. Ian. I start. Thank yo
u for
everything.
I just want you to be happy. He says. No matter how many times you push me away Mar
y,
always remember I will never leave your side. Just call me and I?ll be there.
I smile because I know he won t. He won t leave me. He d stay, no matter how angry I m
ake him,
he s going to be there for me.
I know, you promised me remember?
Yes I did and you know me, I never once broken the promises I made with you. he sa
ys and I
can almost feel his smile.
And at that moment, I feel happy. I forget the reason I called him. I feel fine.
Little did I know, he?d be breaking the one promise that mattered the most in th
e future. And
how I wish he?d never have to.
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Chapter44
Graduation
I stare at the headstone right in front of me. Hey. I greet. I?m graduating. I annou
nce. I m at
the cemetery today because it s my graduation and I want to go and see Louie befor
e heading

out to my school.
You were supposed to be here too Louie. I tell him. It s really unfair, the world is
. Louie s dead
and today is my graduation. If he didn t die, we should have graduated together. H
e should
have been here celebrating with me. Lani graduated yesterday, dapat nandun ka rin
kasabay
niya kahapon. I saw her cry again Louie and I didn?t know what to do. I say as I
pull the weeds
beside his grave. I didn?t know how to comfort her because seeing her cry Louie m
ade my
heart ached too. In the end, Lani was the one who held me. Nakakainis kasi dapat
ako yung
nagko-comfort sakanya kahapon pero sa huli ang hina hina ko.
I don t know how to comfort people, I never learn how. I know the things to say th
ough, all you
have to say to someone who needs a little comforting would be it?s alright; I?ve
been there; I?m
sorry; I?m here. I find those phrases to be irritating instead of comforting. So
I don t use those
words.
Louie comforted me through actions and words. He d hold me and tell me he d never le
ave me.
He d sometimes allow me to eat pint after pint of ice cream. He was the only one w
ho
comforted me until I met Kim that is. So really I never know how to comfort othe
rs, I find it
awkward to hug or talk so I just stare at them.
With Lani s case though, I wanted so much to comfort her, to hold her as Louie wou
ld have
done so but I cannot, I cried right in front of her. I was so weak and she who n
o doubt missed her
twin was the one who held me and told me Louie would want us to celebrate our gr
aduation.
That he would want us to be happy even for him.
I cried more not because of the loss but because I hated myself even more becaus
e I can t
even comfort her. I m that weak and broken.
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I?m never going to be fine am I? I ask as I let a tear fall. I?m never going to be
strong as you
would want me to. I don't know what to do Louie. A part of me wants to try to be
fine but I don?t
know how. Hindi ko alam kung paano Louie maging okay kasi wala ka na dito. I rea
lly don?t
know how to live without you and I know you?re probably getting tired of hearing
me say that but
it?s true. You knew my life was nothing until you came along twelve years ago. Y
ou saved that
little girl remember at dahil dun naging center ka ng buhay ko at ngayon na wala
ka na hindi
ko na alam kung paano mabuhay, kung paano maging okay kasi ikaw lang naman ang
nakakaalam kung paano ako magiging okay palagi. At ngayong wala ka na wala na ri
ng
tama sa buhay ko. I don?t want to graduate Louie, I just want to stay in high sc
hool where I can
pretend.
I brush the tears on my cheeks and smile sadly at Louie s headstone, I let my fing
ers trace his

name. Hindi ako nagpunta dito para iyakan ka ngayon Louie, nagpunta ako kasi
nangangarap ako na baka makita kita dito. Gustong gusto kitang makita Louie at e
to lang yung
lugar na naisip ko dahil diba maraming kaluluwa sa sementeryo? Nagbabaka sakali
akong
makita kita ngayon. I laugh bitterly. I know it?s crazy but the other way of seein
g you seems
drastic, I can do it but I know you wouldn?t want me to not on my graduation day
so here I am
hoping to see you.
I look around the place but of course whom am I kidding, I am never going to see
Louie here or
anywhere. Ghosts aren t real. Still I really wish they are because I d take it, I d be
okay if Louie
comes back as a ghost.
Mary male-late na tayo. I hear Yaya s voice and I turn to see her standing behind th
e car
waiting for me.
I turn back to Louie s headstone and smile genuinely. I?m going. I say and I stand u
p, I turn my
back and start walking towards the car, I stop, turn around and look for once la
st time hoping
still that he s here somewhere.
I close my eyes and smile as I feel the wind brushes through my body, I m not sayi
ng that I know
the wind is Louie s because I know it isn t, it is just a coincidence that the wind
was blowing right
when I was looking for him.
I know that. Still though, it feels good because it reminds me that Louie s somewh
ere out here
watching over me that no matter that he s gone, he is still watching me protecting
me from
everything.
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I smile again and I start walking away.
Before I went to visit Louie, I wasn t okay with graduating. I didn t want to gradua
te yet because
in high school I could pretend everything is okay, high school is a stage where
everyone is
actually pretending, where everyone doesn t care about anything because we still h
ave an
excuse, we?re young and we?re still a high school student.
College isn t like that. College is closer to reality. It s the final step before we
walk towards reality
and I m not ready for that. I don t know if I ll ever will be because I know college w
ill be different
from high school, a lot different, a whole lot different.
But after this visit with Louie, I feel I m okay with it. I m not ready for it but I m
okay with it
because there is one thing college and high school have in common and that is yo
u can
pretend.
You re just one step closer to reality but it isn t reality yet. You can still prete
nd.
And surmise to say, that s what I m good at and so I know I ll be okay in college as l
ong as my
mask is always in place, as long as I am detach to the idea of stepping towards
reality at the
end of it because I m never going to walk forward.

That s what I m sure of. I can t do reality. Reality will crush me so as long as I pre
tend, I ll be okay.
Mary sabi mo kanina kay Louie, may isa pang paraan para makita siya hindi mo naman
iniisip yung naiisip ko diba Mary? yaya asks suddenly. So she heard.
I continue to stare at the window. Ano bang naiisip mo? I ask but I know what s she s
thinking.
We both do.
Hindi naman kasiguraduhan na makikita mo siya pag ginawa mo yun Mary.
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I shrug. Still there?s a chance. a chance I?m willing to take if I could see Louie
.
Sa tingin mo ba worth it yun? she asks as she turns to stare at me.
I don t look at her and continue to stare at the window. Everything about Louie ya,
is worth it.
This time I look at her and I know she s seeing what I am not saying with my mouth
, she sees it
with my eyes.
Even death.
She turns her head back in front and I know why, she doesn t know what else to say
after that.
Alam ko tingin mo dahil wala na si Louie wala na rin saysay na mabuhay ka pero sa
tingin mo
ba gugustuhin ni Louie na itigil mo yung buhay mo para sa kanya? she says still s
taring right
ahead.
She s using Louie wants what?s best for you card. And I hate it when someone uses
it against me
because then I d feel guilty for not trying to be okay for Louie. And I hate feeli
ng guilty because I
know I can never be okay.
Why, no one can see it, I don t know. If they would just see that I d never be okay
then it ll make
everything easier. Because even if they use that card and yes I d feel guilty I ll n
ever try.
What s the use of trying when I know the outcome already? In the end, nothing will
come out of
it except pain and I d still be broken. Nothing s going to change that fact.
That s why I can finally understand the idea of dying, why I m ready for it now. Yes
, I was afraid
of dying but somehow I m not anymore, I m ready and I want it more and more each pas
sing
day.
I relish the idea finally being able to be with Louie at the end of it. I wait f
or the day, I d dream of
Louie again and this time I d take his hand and he d never let go of it.
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We reach the school and I go straight to the great hall where everyone is for th
e graduation
brunch.
When I finally reach the great hall, the hall is filled with balloons and banner
s. Someone is
playing at the piano at the stage and at the side is the buffet of foods. The ce
nter is filled with
cocktail tables.
I smile as I see my classmates bundled up in the corner. I walk straight to them
. Hi guys! I greet
with a full smile on my face.
They all turn to me and smile. Ang tagal mo! Carmina complains.

I shrug. Mamaya pa naman ang graduation eh. I say. I look around to see familiar f
aces with
all of them smiling just because it s our graduation day and later we d be graduatin
g.
Yaya comes and walks towards the other yayas. She smiles at me and I smile back
even with the
tension at the car earlier I m glad Yaya is here today.
My friends surround me and we talk non-stop. Parents come and go to congratulate
us for
today. I smile and try not to stare too hard at the door because I don t want them
to notice that
I m the only one without the parent here at the graduation brunch.
I know they re not coming and that s why Yaya is here today but again a little part
of me is
disappointment and hurt. Envious of all of my batch mates because they have a fa
mily with
them and all I have is Yaya today at the graduation brunch.
I m used to the disappointment but still what girl wouldn't hope that her parents
would spare
their time for her? I know they ll come later at the ceremony and it s not because t
hey want to
see me graduate no, they will come because they need to. Just for the pretense.
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Truth be told, even if they are going half-heartedly, I m okay with that. Because
I can pretend
that they re here for me.
This graduation brunch is a tradition that the school still runs by, they bring
us together here
today because of the bonding, the time to just talk nonchalantly. A time to brin
g all families
closer to one another.
That s why I m hoping they d be here instead of coming later for the ceremony. I wish
they re
here right now.
Congratulations Mary. I turn and see Cyril s mom smiling at me just as she would smi
le at Cyril,
motherly.
I smile at her Tita. I greet her.
She pulls me to her and hugs me. She pulls away then turns to Cyril. Cy take a pic
ture of us. she
instructs and Cyril obliges.
I smile as we take shots together. Even if I don t have my parents right now, here s
one of my
surrogate parents gladly accepting me.
And that s okay for me. At least somewhere in the world I m accepted.
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Chapter45
When life proves to be unfair
I m in New York. I ve been here since the week after graduation. Kim comes to town e
very
weekend to visit me and we hang out. I ve also been in Minnesota because mom wante
d
options.
In the end, mom decided New York would do.
I live in the pediatric section on the hospital and they just visit me here. I ve
come to like hospitals
not very much but I am coping with it. Sometimes it s thrilling to see the ER. It s
not that lonely

anymore, I made friends with the other patients, nurses and doctors.
It would do me good if I m friendly with everyone, that s what Sin from next door to
ld me before
he left. Be friendly especially with the nurses, they bring the food after all a
nd they might bring
extra pudding.
Strange as it is, I find myself loving this family and I m not lonely here even wh
en I sometimes
don t get visitors. Mom is busy and Kim only comes in the weekend because of schoo
l.
I m not getting better actually, I overheard mom and the doctors discussing the ne
xt course of
action if the medications won t help. Surgery is an open option and also an L-VAD.
I don t want a heart surgery, I told that to my mom. I don t want a heart transplant
if need to be.
I don t even want a pacemaker. I just don t want to undergo surgery whatever it woul
d be. I
know once I m lying in that operating table, I d die.
Not that I don t want to die, I do. I m ready for it but not in an operating table.
It s messy and I
want to die peacefully.
Hey Kelly. I call over the six-year-old girl in the wheelchair.
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She looks up and smiles widely at me. I feel a twinge of envy and sympathy. How
can she smile
so genuinely when she s dying? When everything that they do to her is painful? Kel
ly has a brain
tumor, chemo is her only option for now because of the size of it.
She s always smiling and laughing even when everything in the world is wrong. The
pediatric
section showed me how unfair life truly is. There are so many kids here with lif
e threatening illness.
You d think the place would be gloomy but it s not, the kids are fine they try to be
. Kelly is a
breath of fresh air. She s always cheerful.
Hi. Her voice was low. Can you take me to the cafeteria? I want a cupcake. She asks
me.
I kneel down and smile at her. Are you sure you?re allowed to eat cupcakes? I don
?t want to be
in trouble especially with Nurse Mila.
She giggles and then coughs. I quickly stand up and pat her back. That?ll be a no
. I tell her. I
go in her back and push her wheelchair around the hall.
I have surgery tomorrow.
I halt. So it s true that she s going to have surgery. I heard about it and I pray t
o God it isn t true.
Not that I don t want Kelly to be better because I do but I m afraid for her.
I feel her cold hand in my hand. It?s gonna be okay.
I smile ruefully. Kelly s comforting me when I should be the one who tells her it s
going to be okay.
Of course it is. I croak. I heard you can?t eat the day before your surgery somewhe
re so you
can?t eat cupcake today maybe after the surgery. I tell her.
She tries to laugh again but she just coughs. I don?t want to eat it. She squeaks.
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106 | P a g e
So what are you going to do at it?
Smell it and keep it so I can have it after my surgery.

Just when I m about to turn to the corner, Kim shows up and I stop. He smiles at m
e then looks
down at Kelly to smile. Hello Kelly. He greets her, he kneels down in front of her
I hear about
your big surgery tomorrow so I brought treats. He waves the plastic bag he s holdin
g.
Kelly smiles and squeals. Thank you Ian. She says as she looks at the contents of
the plastic bag.
Kim looks up to me and smiles again but I could see he too is worried for tomorr
ow. I smile at him
silently thanking him for the treats he brought for Kelly.
We go our way back to Kelly s room with Kim pushing the wheelchair and I walking b
y his side.
We hang out until Nurse Mila comes in and tells me that I have to be in my room
for the rounds. I
sigh and kiss Kelly in the head before heading back to my own room.
Half an hour before the end of visiting hours, Kim comes in my room and sits on
the chair beside
my bed.
I?m scared.
He takes my hand and holds it. She?s strong. You don?t have to worry.
I nod and I rest my head back to the pillow. I close my eyes and I don t let go of
Kim s hand. I
wish I?m strong just like her. I whisper.
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You are.
No I m not. But I don t argue because I m tired.
***
The next morning, Kim s already here and he helps me stand and go to Kelly s room. W
e go
there and we see that they re prepping her for her big surgery today.
I go in first and when Kelly notices me, she smiles. I look around the room and
see Mr. and Mrs.
Taylor standing in the side of the room. I smile at them then at Kelly. Hey super
star.
Hi.
I wait until they re bringing her to the OR, they re pushing her out of the room whe
n they stop in
front of me. Kelly holds out her hand and I take it. I squeeze it. Come back soon
okay.
She nods. I?m not scared.
I smile as I force my tears not to fall. I know.
They wheel her out and all I can do is stare. A hand pats me on my shoulder and
I look to see
Mrs. Taylor smiling sadly at me.
Why? I ask her. I ask her why they agreed on the surgery.
Kelly wanted it. She told us she rather take the risks than be afraid of it her w
hole life. Mrs.
Taylor answers me What can we do when our own daughter is stronger than us and wa
nts it?
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I nod. I wish I?m like her.
You can be scared Mary. Kelly said to us that she fears death and that?s why she
wants us to
take the risk because rather than cowering to death sometimes we have to face it
head on.
I go to the chapel with Kim after talking with Mrs. Taylor. I pray that God save
the little girl, that

Kelly will be okay. I pray with all my heart because somewhere in the road, I fe
ll for that little girl. I
love her like a true sister.
And I don t want to lose the chance to see her smile and laugh.
***
I have a fever. I m really burning up so I m resting back in my room. Kim watches ov
er me and
tells me to rest.
I tell him I want to wait until Kelly s surgery is over, he tells me that he ll wake
me up once there s
news so I close my eyes and let my body rest.
I do feel tired after all.
***
I can?t tell her that now. I hear Kim s voice and I m slowly waking up. She has a fever
! his
voice frantic.
I try to open my eyes but it s hard. It feels heavy. Kim
I hear him walking beside me, he takes me hand and squeezes it. How are you feeli
ng? he
asks.
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This time I try harder to open my eyes. Kelly. I say the name because I can t speak,
my throat
feels dry and I don t know how to ask about Kelly.
He squeezes my hand harder. You?ve been sleeping for three days Mary. He informs m
e.
I close my eyes again, my eyelids really do feel tired. Kelly. I say again because
he didn t
answer me.
She she didn?t make it. His voice breaks. I?m sorry.
I feel something wet in my hand and I wonder what it is. Then I realize what Kim
said. Kelly.
Inevitably, I cry.
Kim holds my hand harder and I can still feel the wetness in my hand. I still he
ar him saying sorry
and he tells me how Kelly died in the operating table.
I cry harder because the girl who made me believe I could try to live is gone. S
he s gone and
I m never going to see her again. Life has taken another life that deserved to liv
e.
Life is really unfair and I continue to cry until I can no longer weep.
Kim never lets go of my hand and I want him to. I want to be alone. I wish I hav
en t woken up.
The dreamless state is much better than waking up.
I cough and clutch my chest in my hand. Kim lets go of my hand and presses the b
utton as I
continue to cough. My chest hurts and I can t breathe.
I cough harder as I try to breathe. The last thing I remember is the doctors and
nurses barging
inside the room.
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Chapter46
The Final Help from Destiny
I am in the playground where I used to play with Louie when we were young, the p
lace where I
first met him. Through the years, the playground never changed except for the pa
int but overall
the park never changed, be it the fountain in the middle that never worked or th

e tree house
and the sandbox where kids used to play.
I cherish the thought of the playground never changing; it makes me feel that no
thing would
ever change, that like the playground my friendship with Louie would never chang
e. We would
never change.
It always serves as a reminder that some things would never change, that no matt
er how it does
aesthetically, it would always be the same. Like the tree house, it would always
be the
headquarters of the little troops gathering around every noon. Though every year
the
community would change the paint, it is still the same.
I sit under the tree that housed the tree house. I was always too afraid to go u
p to the tree house
because I was scared that I would eventually fall but then Louie would hold my h
and, smile at
me and reassure me that I would never fall. That he would never let me fall.
He would always say things like that. The things that I feared, he would always
be there to hold
my hand and just be by my side protecting me from those fears of mine. I looked
up to him
because he was the only one who could carry all my fears and believe me there we
re tons of it.
Some say a little girl?s first hero is her father but for me it was Louie. He wa
s my hero and my
prince. He would slay dragons for me, I was certain of that.
I smile as I l close my eyes and look up to the bright blue sky; the playground
is quiet and
peaceful. One of the many things I love about the playground is this. It is alwa
ys peaceful and
calm. Hearing the distant laughter of the other kids and the rustic noise the se
esaw would
produce whenever it?s played could somehow make me calm. For me this is peace.
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I open my eyes and see a lone figure walking towards me, I know it?s Louie so I
wave and smile
as I wait for him.
Mary. I turn my eyes away from the figure walking towards me and I look around for
the voice.
***
I open my eyes and the brightness hurts my eyes so I close them again.
Mary. I hear Kim s voice and it sounds so refreshing to hear it. He takes a cup of w
ater in my
mouth and helps me drink it.
I open my eyes and this time the lights are dim. I look at Kim and I can see tha
t he hasn t been
sleeping. I frown. You look like hell. I tell him.
He chuckles. You?re a mess. He tells me.
I smile a little. How long? I ask.
Two weeks. He answers.
I nod. I then remember Kelly but I don t say her name. It hurts. Knowing that the
little girl who was
always happy is no longer around the hospital hurts. So I focus on my dream. I he
ard you
earlier.
He looks at me in confusion. What do you mean? he asks.
I shake my head. It doesn t matter if I tell Kim. He won t understand it anyway. I a

lso don t know


how to explain to him how he got inside my dream. How he invaded the dream.
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I don t know why though he s in my dream.
I feel so tired.
***
The doctors come in and check on me. One of the nurses helps me up and puts me i
n the
wheelchair. I let them do the tests and I just close my eyes. I feel so tired an
d I just want to sleep.
After two weeks of sleeping, I want more.
I m so tired of everything.
I come back to my room to see that Kim has changed. I smile at him and he helps
me back to
my bed.
How are you feeling? he asks.
Tired. Weak. It s like my body is so weak that everything seems hard to do. Even ope
ning my
eyes is hard.
Mary. He calls after a while of silence.
Hmm?
Do you remember when you told me that you dreamed of Louie before and he was aski
ng for
your hand? he asks me.
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I nod because I remember that. I remember telling Kim about that dream of mine.
Please don?t take his hand.
I open my eyes and I see Kim s tortured face. I lift my hand and touch his cheeks.
Don?t worry.
Tell me you won?t take his hand.
I smile at him but I don t tell him what he needs to hear. I can t promise something
I know that I
will break especially now that I m really feeling tired. I know I m hurting him but
I just can t
promise him that.
I m close to being with Louie and all I want to do is take his hand.
Ian. I start. Don?t be like me when I?m gone. I tell him. Let go.
He shakes his head. Don?t leave me please. He pleads as he buries his face on my h
and.
Don?t go and take his hand.
You know it?s inevitable. One day, I?m going to leave you and I?m going to take h
is hand.
Not now. Just stay and live.
But I feel death is coming. I don t say that though. I do feel it coming near me.
And I know that
when it comes I m going to welcome it with a smile in my face.
I don t want to leave Kim alone. I know if I die, it d hurt him so much and I just h
ope he won t be
like me. I hope he d live his life and let go of my memory.
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114 | P a g e
I just smile at him.
***
I?m sitting under the tree with the tree branches swaying as the wind blows. I s
mile at how
peaceful the playground is today.
I look around the playground and there at the road, someone?s walking towards th
e tree and I

smile as I realize Louie?s coming.


***
Go. I tell Kim. He got a call earlier from his professor asking him to see him tod
ay, he has missed
most of his classes because of me.
He sighs reluctantly. I don?t want to leave you. he says.
I?ll be fine. I tell him.
He walks to my side and kissed my head. I?ll see you later. He says. He walks to t
he door and
he stops to look at me. His face is telling me what I need to know, he s worried a
bout me. So I
smile at him. I?ll bring you a box of chocolate later.
Ian. I call as he turns his back on me. He turns back and looks at me expectantly.
I force a
smile. Thank you.
***
After two days at Brown, Kim comes back with two chocolate boxes from Godiva. My
condition
hasn t changed and I m still under monitor so I m not allowed to eat the chocolates.
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115 | P a g e
Mom visited me last night and told me that she has arranged for me to transfer t
o Mayo Clinic
and I ll be transferring next week.
I just nodded at her.
Kim, I want some pudding. I tell Kim.
He nods and stands up. I watch him walk out of my room and I feel sad. Kim s my on
ly constant
companion. He never left. I know he s going to be devastated if I leave and I don t
want to hurt
him.
If only I know how I can prevent from hurting him and at the same time welcome d
eath without
regret but there s no way.
When he comes back, he hands me my pudding but I set it aside. I m not hungry anym
ore. I m
tired.
Can I rest Ian? I ask him.
I hear him suck his breath. Sure. I?ll wake you up when it?s time to take your me
ds. He tells me.
He then takes my hand and holds it tighter.
I close my eyes. Ian I
I call. I don t know but I feel like I need to tell him somethi
ng, that
there s something he should know.
He holds my hand tighter. Don?t talk, just sleep and maybe later once you wake up
, you?ll tell
me. he says. He kisses my head. I love you.
I nod. Good night.
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And I drift off.
***
I see Louie in front of me, smiling at me. Louie. I breathe as I look up to him.
Hi. He greets.
Anong ginagawa mo dito? I ask him.
Waiting for you.
I look at the playground and I smile, we?re alone. He offers his hand and I take
it. I stand up and I
smile at him. Are you done waiting for me? I ask.
It s up to you. he says and he intertwines our hand together.

I miss him. I miss him so much and now he?s here. I miss you. I tell him. I close
my eyes and
suddenly when I open it, Louie?s on the other side. I frown. Louie, come back her
e. I tell him
and I try to run towards him but the more I run to him the farther he seems to b
e. Louie. I panic.
Don t go. Take me with you. I say.
Louie smiles at me. Gusto mo ba talagang sumama sa akin? he asks me sadly.
I nod quickly letting my tears fall. Please don t run from me.
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He stares straightly behind me and so I look behind me and see nothing. He smile
s sadly. May
naghihintay sayo dun. He says his lips pointing behind me. I miss you Mary and I w
ant to be
with you but I can t be selfish with you.
I shake my head. You can. Just stop from running. I tell him. I love you. Don t you lo
ve me too?
I do. he says. Suddenly, he?s closer. He reaches for my hand. Take my hand and we ll
go
together. He tells me.
I smile at him and for the first time in a long time, I feel that the weight has
lifted. I feel light and
happy. I take his hand.
He squeezes it and intertwines our fingers together, we walk hand in hand toward
s somewhere
and I don?t ask where we?re going because I trust him.
I trust Louie and I want to be with him.
Finally, I can be with him. I can be with the one I love most.
***
Clear. Someone says.
The machine keeps on beeping. It goes flat line.
After a while, the whole room is silent and the only thing one could hear is the
continued
beeping of the machine.
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118 | P a g e
Epilogue
As I walk towards the unknown, I hear voices from afar but I don t look back. I ke
ep walking
forward. This is the choice I know I will never regret because right now I m walki
ng hand in hand
with him. I choose this destiny.
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119 | P a g e

Keep reading for an excerpt on the sequel of A Little


Help from Destiny
a little help from destiny
120 | P a g e
Prologue
If you re looking for a story about boy meets girl and those cheesy clich novels th
en you ve got
the wrong book. This is not the story about some girl who s broken and damaged but
heals
when a guy comes around to help her heal her broken heart and blah blah and blah
.

So if you want those books about broken girls who have HEA then put this down an
d walk away.
Walk away and don t ever look back.
Because mine is not the story, you can read every time you flip through pages at
your local
library or bookstores. It's not the as long as you're with me, I'll be fine/than
k you for saving me
back from myself/as long as you love me I can love myself/blah blah blah. Honest
ly, my story is a
lot different from those types of stories. I m not the good girl, in fact there s no
thing redeeming
about myself. I'm an egotistical, selfish, uncaring, sadistic evil witch.
Oh and did I mention I m dying?
I m Mary and this is my story of how I went from being the girl that was surrounde
d by many
people to the girl anyone couldn't care less.
So if you can t take too much self-drowning here and there, you might as well drop
the book
and walk away.
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121 | P a g e
Chapter1
Summer 2012
Some says that school is our second home well for me hospital is my second home.
I ve been in
and out of the hospitals for almost two years now. I once thought, I d get over my
disdain with it
but no. I still hate the place, it reminds of so many bad memories. It reminds m
e that I m weak as
if looking in the mirror isn t enough.
I hate the place because sometimes when I m actually happy pretending to be normal
, it would
suck me back in and I m not normal again. I know I can never have the simple life
that I so
dream of, still sometimes I just wish the act won t end. But whenever I m brought to
the hospital,
I m reminded that every act has its conclusion.
And it hurts. It hurts so much. But I m used to it, this is my life anyway. Nothin
g s going to change
that except death or a miracle that my heart would get stronger, a miracle which
by the way I
don t want. It only happened once, it won t happen again.
***
I close the book that I ve been reading because I can t seem to focus. There s a lot i
n my mind
and I can t take my mind off things. What today meant for me.
Today is the enrollment day and obviously, I missed it. My mother brought me in
at the hospital
at three in the morning when I pressed the panic button in my room. I was having
a hard time
breathing and I couldn t take it anymore so I gave in and pressed the button.
Now here I am back in the hospital. I sigh wondering what my classmates are doin
g right now, I
suppose they re through with the enrollment and are already eating in McDonald s or
KFC.
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122 | P a g e
They re probably making up the lost time, chatting up with all exciting stories an
d all. How I wish
I m with them, I can only imagine myself dragging them to SDV just to sneak a peek

at Joe or
even at ISC to search for the other guys.
I can see us laughing and me calling out payong or ipis if we ever see Paolo som
ewhere around
the school. And of course if we ever see EG well, of course, we ll follow him espe
cially Love.
But most of all I can see us, just us being us.
How I miss them so, they ve been such great friends to me. When I entered college
I never once
thought I d find them, I mean yeah I can make friends but I never thought I d find f
riendship that
I would found lasting.
I just never thought college would make me want to live again. After that summer
, I just thought I
give up and wait until I die, you know. I didn t want to live again, I was tired.
I was angry.
Everything was spiraling out of control and then I died.
I died for two minutes that was until they resuscitated me to life. A miracle th
ey said. I was their
miracle.
When I woke up that time, there was only one thing in my mind and that was I wis
hed I had died.
I wished they didn t save me. I was perfectly happy dying.
But they saved me and so I get to go living a life I didn t want anymore. I chose
to enroll to some
second-class college if asked why I d say because I don t want to burden mom with the
expensive tuition and all truth is I chose to enroll there just to spite mom and t
he world.
To hell with expectations and all. They all wanted me to accept my admission to
one of the most
prestigious university in the Philippines but what do I care if I study in that
university when I know
I d be dead soon?
It turns out I made the right decision after all. Because had I chosen to study
at La Salle then I
would have never met some of the greatest friends of mine. The people who made m
e want to
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123 | P a g e
live and hope for a better and normal life. Being with them made me wish that I
could live
longer, that I m not sick at all.
These people made me happy even just for a year. And now I curse the world for b
eing unfair to
me. I want to shout to the world that I want to live, please let me live. Take t
his damn sickness of
mine and let me be normal.
I want to be happy. I want to try what Louie wanted me to have. A life.
Is that so difficult to grant?
I m never going to see them again. My mom has decided to take me to Germany for th
e
surgery and being a minor, I have no say in this. I want to stay, study and be w
ith my friends even
if I m going to die.
Just one more year with them. I won t ask for more, just a year again to feel norm
al.
They won t allow me to, they want me to go to Germany and take the risk. But I kno
w all too well,
I m never going to make it back. I m going to die in Germany. And I won t be able to s
ee my

friends.
I hear the door cracked open and I turn my head to see mom entering the room. Mar
y, you
have your session with Dr. Collins. She reminds me as she grabs my laptop and bri
ngs it to me.
I don t want to talk to Dr. Collins right now. I have no choice really, mom will i
nsist that I need to
and then she ll go and harangue me all day.
I switch my laptop on, I look at mom and wait for her to leave the room. She sig
h dramatically
and walk off. I log in to my Skype account and begrudgingly click the call logo
and wait for Dr.
Collins to pick up.
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124 | P a g e
With two rings, Dr. Collins face shows up and she smiles wanly at me. Hello Mary.
She greets.
Hi.
How are you feeling?
Angry. Mad. Hurt. Furious. Envious. Sad. Fine.
She raises her eyebrow at me and continues to stare at me like she knows that I m
anything but
fine.
I let out a exasperated sigh and glare at her. Alright I?m not fine! I?m... miser
able. I finally let out.
I?m miserable because I?m dying.
Isn?t what you?ve always wanted? To die and be reunited with Louie?
I I want to be with Louie but I also want to live. It?s crazy isn?t it? To want tw
o vastly different
things. I smile ruefully. I thought I was ready. I say at her. I?m not ready to say
goodbye. I
stare at her pleadingly. I don?t want to say goodbye yet. Tears are welling up, I
don t let them
fall. I?m going to die but I?m not ready to say goodbye.
You are ever such a pessimist Mary. What if everything turns out well and the goo
dbye you
make today isn?t goodbye after all, just a see you soon bye?
I snort. You do remember life has been mostly unfair to me right? I?m not being p
essimistic Dr.
Collins, I?m just being realistic. My heart is failing, I already find it hard t
o breathe right now so tell
me how will things turn out well?
She shakes her head. Mary.
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125 | P a g e
I wave my hands to cut her off with her speech. I?m not going to say goodbye.
Why?
I shrug. It?s too bothersome. Too painful. They don?t need to know about any of it.
I want to
remain in their memories as alive. If I say goodbye now and I don?t come back th
en they?ll
know.
If you don?t say goodbye then they?ll worry. Are you even going to tell them that
you?re at the
hospital? she asks.
I shrug again, I press my back to my pillow because my back is hurting me alread
y. What?s the
use?
They?ll need closure Mary. You need your closure with them. She insists. Do you wan
t them to

always wonder how you are? If you?re fine or not?


I look at her with my eyes full of tears that just want to fall. Isn?t it much be
tter than letting them
know I?m sick and dying? That we?ll never see each other again?
She shakes her head and smiles sadly at me. It will hurt them if you don?t tell t
hem. You need to
tell them and say goodbye.
I nod. Maybe Dr. Collins is right, maybe I should say goodbye now. If I won t ever
meet them
again then perhaps I should just tell them goodbye. At least this chapter of our
lives would be
close.
Okay.
So after my session with Dr. Collins, I start with my letter to them. I can t say
goodbye in person,
that s too painful. So a letter it is.
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126 | P a g e
I open my Facebook account and start writing a note.
a little help from destiny
127 | P a g e
Author s note
A Little Help from Destiny ends here after two years. Sa totoo lang, I wrote thi
s story just for fun,
inisip ko na since my friends loved hearing this story then why not write about
it? So I wrote this.
But when I started writing this story, I never realized how hard it would be to
write this because if I
did then I probably wouldn t have written this. Nung isunulat ko kasi to, masaya a
ko. Nawala sa
isip ko kung gaano kalungkot yung ibang nangyari noon.
Hindi pa dapat dito magtatapos yung storya. Kaso masyado ng mahaba at naisip kon
g i-cut na
dito. Yung last chapter is dated back on Summer 2011.
Sa lahat ng storya ko, masasabi ko na eto ang favorite ko, siguro dahil bias ako
pero eto talaga
yung pinaka-gusto kong isulat kahit pa sobrang nahirapan ako. A smart little gir
l once told me
that it s better to let it out than to keep it in and wait for it to combust. In a
way, I m letting it out
through writing. I m proud of this story even when sometimes when I write it, the
ugliness of
everything shows. It s okay.
Sa totoo lang hindi ko to re-recommend sa mga tao dahil diba dapat ang isang sto
rya may
lesson sa huli na matututunan ng heroine? Na pwedeng i-apply. Eto wala. This sto
ry even
encourages death in some way and I know it s wrong. This story is too emotional an
d depressing.
Actually when I m writing this, it sucks away my happy moods and keeps me on a ver
y bad
mood. In this story you glimpse a girl who is full of scars that never quite hea
ls. She doesn t even
want to try and that sends a wrong message right but sometimes, it s not right to
lie that things
will get better because it s not.
Life is unfair and it will never get better. It s messed up so why try to hide the
messed up world
right? This story is the glimpse of the messed up life of one girl. And I won t ev

er change what
happened even though it s tempting because in this messed up world, the truth is t
he only thing
you can depend on.
Thank you for waiting for this story at the very end. It s been a long ride and no
w it s time to say
goodbye. Thank you so much for those heartwarming messages you guys had sent me
supporting my every decisions.
Thank you.
a little help from destiny
128 | P a g e
-uknowulovemary
PS
This is not the end of Mary s story by the way, you just got a glimpse of her life
. I m not sure
though if I m willing to share it, I already started writing the sequel entitled F
ighting Destiny, I m
just not sure if I can write it still. A Little Help from Destiny was hard enoug
h and I know for sure,
Fighting Destiny will be harder.
Fighting Destiny is much depressing and emotional than A Little Help from Destin
y. It borders on
self-loathing and it might drown you because when I wrote the first chapter of i
t, gah it really is
pure of so much angst. But in Fighting Destiny, you ll see the whole broken girl t
hat you glimpsed
from A Little Help from Destiny and let me tell you now, this whole story will s
how you the whole
ugliness of life. That s why I m not so sure if I would want to write it because I m a
fraid it might not
help. I m afraid to show the broken girl in full view.
But let s see about it soon.
PPS
I know matagal ko ng sinasabing ie-edit ko tong A Little Help from Destiny at ha
ggang ngayon
ay wala parin. Dahil naging sobra talaga akong busy ay nawalan na ako ng time sa
pagsusulat
pero ngayon ay sinusubukan ko ng maghanap ng time sa pagsusulat at page-edit nit
o. Yung sa
site ko may makikita kayo dun na naghahanap ako ng mga beta readers at ng graphi
c artist
naghahanap parin po ako ngayon nito. I m planning on printing A Little Help from D
estiny by
August and I ll be giving out five copies kaya po gusto ko talagang ma-edit ito ng
maayos at
may original cover photo na ito. So if you re interested in becoming a beta-reader
, editor or a
graphic artist please email me at uknowulovemary@gmail.com