Michael's Story: CHAPTER FIVE
Updated: Apr 29
Yes Leah, Jared was shot and he didn’t make it to the hospital. Sa totoo lang ay talagang naubos ‘yung kaunting lakas na meron ako nung sinabi sa akin na wala na nga si Jared na kung wala lang sana sina mommy, daddy at Via na siyang nagbabantay sa akin sa hospital ay siguro i would have gone another surgery.
I sustained two shots Leah, isa sa tagiliran ko at isa sa left arm at I was in a surgery for I dont know how many hours dahil kinailangang tanggalin ‘yung mga bala sa katawan ko. After the surgery nilipat ako sa isang room.
Ayaw pa sana nilang sabihin sa akin pero malalaman at malalaman mo pa rin talaga Leah dahil the moment I asked about Jared, nawala ang kulay sa mukha nila and right then, I already knew, they need not to tell me.
Hindi ko alam kung ano ang gagawin ko nun Leah pero isa lang ang sinisigaw ng sistema ko and that was to get out from that room dahil pakiramdam ko hindi ako makahinga, it was suffocating. But with a simple move, a jolt of pain runs through my body at doon nga ako napasigaw.
My parents immediately assisted me while Via rushed outside to get the doctor.
While the doctor was checking on me, and though I was in great pain, ang lubos na tuluyang nakapagpahina sa akin ay ‘yung thought na wala akong nagawa at nung mga panahong ‘yon, I know na umiiyak din sa matinding pighati si Ella… just imagining her, waiting for the helicopter ferrying Jared’s coffin is just too much.
Leah, I can certainly visualize Ella because I’ve seen her process pain many times and it always hurt me, seeing her in such state.
Hindi ko kaya Leah, hindi ko kaya kasi I was there, I could have done something, I could have saved him… I could have done something Leah to keep him alive for the wedding which was in 3 days.
Jared has been a good buddy and friend and he was so ideal, he’s so perfect for Ella. He had made her happy and that he would have been the one who can fulfill my promise to keep Ella happy, safe, secured, and feel loved all the time.
I clearly failed, I failed myself and Ella. Sa totoo lang halos hindi na ako makakain nun and the agony had slowed down my recovery. It needed time for me to recover pero dahil sa grief, guilt, self loathing, and all mas bumagal ‘yung recovery ko.
After I got discharged from the hospital para magpagaling sa bahay ay nakiusap akong puntahan si Jared. Ayaw pumayag nila daddy kasi ‘yung biyahe nga. Medyo mahirap na nga ‘yung iba-biyahe ako pauwi ng bahay, ito pa kayang sasaglit kami kila Jared.
Pero dahil na rin sa pagmamakaawa ko ay pumayag sila. The travel was long pero hindi ko ininda ‘yung sakit at discomfort na sinasabi ng katawan ko.
When we arrived, ililibing na si Jared kaya naman ay deretso na kami sa church. Gulat ‘yung mga kasamahan ko nun nang makita nila ako because they thought nga na kailangan kong magpagaling pa.
A bandage was wrapped around my torso and that I was wearing an arm cast with mommy assisting my every step, thought kaya ko naman na maglakad, mabagal pa nga lang.
Akala ko alam na alam ko na kung gaano kadevastated si Ella but when I saw her, sitting in the front church and hugging Jared’s framed photograph… dumoble ‘yung bigat ng pakiramdam ko Leah.
We were basically in a church na talaga namang dapat mangyari, kaya lang that time, instead of Ella wearing and rocking her wedding dress with Jared waiting for her at the altar, nakaupo lang siya habang pinapanood kung paano i-bless nung pari ‘yung kabaong kung saan nakahimlay ang groom niya.
They were supposed to leave the church hand in hand and go to their house as husband and wife, at hindi ganito na after the church ceremony, sa sementeryo naman ihahatid ‘yung taong sana ay makakasama niyang umuwi ng bahay.
Ella saw me pero I cannot meet her gaze. She was clearly shocked when she first saw me that day, nasa gilid lang kasi ako nun pero nung tinawag ako nung isang personnel to share any message during the eulogy portion, doon na niya ako nakita.
Hindi ko alam kung aware siya sa nangyari sa akin, siguro na inform din siya but she was taken a back siguro dahil hindi niya naisip na ganito kalala ‘yung injuries ko … pero hindi ko alam Leah kung ano ‘yung tumatakbo sa isipan niya basta she was shocked.
In my message I told the people kung gaano kabuting kaibigan si Jared and that he’s a blessing to everyone especially kay Ella. Mahina at mabagal akong magsalita nun dahil kailangan kong tapusin ‘yung message ko ng hindi umiiyak.
Kahit minemention ko noon ang pangalan ni Ella, I didn’t meet her gaze because if I did, I would have broken down.
That day, umuwi din kami kaagad at hindi ko na inapproach si Ella. As much as I wanted to hug her, comfort her, and tell her that after the storm there’s gonna be a rainbow but I just couldn’t.
I feel too disgusted with myself at wala akong mukhang ihaharap sa kanya because again, I failed her. Yes Leah, I tortured and blamed myself kung bakit nasa ganong estado si Ella.
My family, friends, and even tita Ellen kept telling me it’s not my fault and that I should not be too hard on myself. They kept telling me I should let myself recover at ‘wag kong pahirapan ‘yung sarili ko sa bagay na hindi ko naman hawak at kasalanan.
Kahit alam kong nakauwi na nga si Ella nun pero kahit nandiyan lang siya, hindi kami nagkita. Si tita Ellen pumupunta punta sa bahay to give me fruits and all at naghi-hint siyang nariyan lang si Ella sa bahay nila.
Pero nakarecover na ako at nakabalik muli sa trabaho, I still couldn’t bring myself to approach her. The incident kept haunting me and it severely affected my being.
After more than a year na hindi ako umuwi at ako na lang ang pinupuntahan nila daddy, I was re-assigned but this time, doon na mismo sa lugar namin. Sobrang tuwa ng pamilya ko when they heard the news but as for me? Oo, gusto ko silang makasama at gustong gusto ko ring pagsilbihan ang bayan ko pero…
But since it’s an order, bumalik na nga ako sa bahay kung saan talagang hinanda ‘yung kwarto ko sa muling pagbabalik ko.
Dahil nga sa naiprogram na sa sistema ko ‘yung trabaho lang ng trabaho lalong lalo na for the past year, ‘yun nga ang ginawa ko. Nag-focus ako sa trabaho dahil sa totoo lang din, hindi ko alam kung paano kung dumating na ‘yung araw na ‘yung tadhana na mismo ang magpapaharap sa amin ni Ella.
At tama nga ako Leah kasi kahit anong iwas ko, dumating ‘yung araw na muli kaming nagtagpo ni Ella na noon ay talagang napakaganda pa rin but what I noticed the most was the butterflies in my stomach … yes, after all those years and incidents, I never stopped loving her.
Isang gabi kasi napag-isipan kong maglakad lakad hanggang sa ‘yun nga, napadaan ako sa spot kung saan nag-propose si Jared kay Ella. Tumayo ako roon saglit hanggang sa biglang may dumating. Hindi ko ‘yun binalingan ng tingin at akmang aalis na sana ako when the person cleared her throat.
I stopped and when I turned to look at the person, halos matuod ako sa kinatatayuan ko dahil nga sa tumambad sa akin … it was Ella.
Ilang minuto ring walang gumalaw sa amin at magkatitig lang kami hanggang sa nginitian niya ako. Ewan ko pero parang lahat nagcatch up sa akin, lahat ng mga emosyon na pilit kong tinatakbuhan ay nahabol na ako ng tuluyan.
I stared back at her but then, a strong sob was released and the next thing, I was crying with Ella embracing me, telling me that it’s okay.
Alam mo ‘yung pakiramdam Leah na nabawasan ‘yung napakabigat na dinadala mo… that’s what I felt when I was already crying into Ella’s arms. I kept apologizing to her but she kept telling me that there’s nothing to apologize for and that wala akong kasalanan.
Instead of me comforting her, it was the other way around… and after that night Leah, I could say that a huge burden has been unloaded from my shoulders.
Ella and I talked and with tears and sobs, we processed what we should had processed kung sana ay naglakas loob lang ako noon na lapitan siya. Yes sabi niya after the funeral ay talagang hinanap niya ako and there were many times she stood outside the house nung nagpapagaling pa ako, hoping na lalabas daw ako.
We exchanged apologies, we said things … and then, we were back to starting over but still as the Michael and Ella who are best of friends since childhood.
Oo, bumalik kami sa dati, ‘yung laging magkasama at nagha-hangout. ‘Yung night walks at stargazing. ‘Yung pagpunta punta namin sa bahay ng isa’t isa para lamang mangulit.
But to tell you honestly, if we were in the movies and if we were characters in novels, we would have kissed just like the movies, we would have gone out for dates, we would have just simply be more than the Michael and Ella we were.
But this is reality, this is life kung saan there is a past dividing us. I know she’s not over Jared yet and I understand. Kaya naman kahit na tinutukso tukso kami muli noon, it’s not yet the right time.
After three years Leah, ganon pa rin kami, lagi pa rin kaming magkasama. However, this time, hindi na namin kailangang maging star sa movie at characters sa novel dahil the right time came kung saan we can finally be more than best friends.
Yes, I confessed to her finally. After waiting for so many years, the right timing came for me to tell her how much I love her ever since we were young. We were both crying that time and she admitted too, that she had feelings for me but then Jared came and made her feel special like atreasured photograph and a precious jewelry.
Wala kaming pinagsisisihan Leah sa lahat ng mga nangyari because we both believe on timing, that there is a perfect and appropriate time for everything if they are meant to happen. And we’re meant to happen, that’s why after many years and in spite of all the heartaches and grief, we found our way to each other.
Hindi ka naman siguro magugulat Leah kung ‘yung singsing na binili ko noon, almost 5 years, naisuot ko rin sa kanya. Tandang tanda ko pa after naming sabihin sa mga magulang namin that we’re already together, kinagabihan ay kinatok ako ni mommy sa kwarto ko upang ibigay ‘yung red velvet box and when I opened, nandoon pa rin ‘yung diamond ring na kumuha sa attention ko nun.
My mom kept it because she just had this feeling that that day will happen and it did.
Leah, two months lang kaming naging magboyfriend and girlfriend before I proposed to her. She said yes and the ring I bought her years ago perfectly fitted her delicate ring finger.
We got married. We only had this simple wedding ceremony at the church pero ‘yung reception, ayun nga at medyo maraming tao because our neighbors really graced the occasion. Lahat talaga sila naroon and they made our wedding day extra special.
Most of our high school batchmates and even our teachers were also there kaya talagang kantiyawan talaga and the good old days were brought back sa mga kwento ng mga magulang namin, kapit bahay, at mga kaibigan.
Para nga kaming love birds ng taon at puro kantiyaw sila sa amin na sa hinaba haba raw talaga ng prosisyon, sa simbahan din ang tuloy. Tatawa tawa na lang kami nun.
Right now we’re happily married at wala pa kaming anak. I am still in the service at ganun din si Ella, isang public nurse.
I couldn’t ask for more Leah, just the knowledge that I get to call Ella, the love of my life my wife is just everything.
We waited for so long, a lot of things had happened, but then in the end here we are magkasamang matutulog, magigising na magkayakap, sabay magkakape, we go to our work in the morning but we get to come home with each other … and we get to say those three precious words, I love you to each other every minute, if it is possible.
Kaya uulitin ko Leah, there’s a perfect timing for things if they are meant to happen.
Hanggang dito na lang po Leah, maraming maraming salamat po sa pagbabasa sa aking liham.
Lubos na gumagalang,