Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Act 21: Jealousy

“Yes Ma! Wait a minute! I’m changing!” Gian shouted.

“Okay! Once you’re done with that, go down for dinner!” Gian’s mom responded.

I looked at Gian with an expression resembling that of a little boy who wanted to poop but can’t coz he doesn’t know how to clean himself up. Gian smiled and mouthed “It’s going to be ok. Trust me!” He gave me a wink and held my hand tightly. All I was able to do was sigh and just trust him.

After changing our clothes, Gian rubbed my back and hugged me before we went out the room.

Danny, Rina and Charm were already waiting for us near the stairs. We heard sounds coming from the kitchen.

We were about to go down when all of a sudden, a little girl came running towards Gian.

“Kuya!” The little girl shouted with glee as he rushed towards him.

“Annie!” Gian immediately hugged the little girl as he carried her.

“By the way guys, this is my youngest sister, Annie.”

“Hello Annie!” We all said in chorus.

“Hello.” Annie said in a very soft voice while smiling. She sounded a little shy but still I find her cute.

So she’s going to be my sister-in-law? I thought to myself as I secretly laughed.

Annie went down and ran back to her room.

When we entered the kitchen, we smelled something. It was delicious.

“Gian, is that you already? Kindly set the table so that we could eat. I’m starving.” Gian’s mom commanded without looking. She sounded a little authoritative and serious and that really made me shiver even more.

“Uhm, ma…”

Gian’s mom suddenly stopped what she was doing and she turned around to face us.

“Oh, hello! Sorry, I forgot. I didn’t know that it’s going to be today.” She was a little taken aback seeing us.

“Haha, that’s so typical of you mom. I told you already a thousand times before but still you keep on forgetting.” Gian rolled his eyes (which I found a little cute because he’s not used to doing that), but still smiled at his mom.

“Sorry dear, it’s just that we are very busy at work lately. Anyway, good thing is that I cooked for a lot tonight.”

“Haha, yeah mom, and we REALLY ARE STARVING.” Gian laughed as he winked at all of us.

“Anyway, let me introduce them. Ma, this is Charm, Rina, Danny, and this one’s Marky.” Gian pointed to us as he presented us to his mom.

“It’s my pleasure meeting all of you. It’s nice to finally meet the friends of my son. He rarely brings friends here. ”

“So you are Marky. My son told me a lot of things about you. I’m glad my son has someone whom he calls his best friend. I was sort of afraid that my son is becoming introverted.” Gian’s mom slightly laughed.

Gian again rolled his eyes. “Let’s eat now ma!”

We were setting the table up when a tall girl appeared in the dining area along with Annie.

“There you are!” Gian said.

“That, my friends, is my other sister, Sandra. Sandra, these are my friends, Danny, Rina, Charm and my best friend, Marky.” Gian always highlights me when he introduces me to his family. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, although it also makes me a little flattered and a little different from the rest. Anyway, I still find it sweet of him.

“Hi guys!” Sandra said. Unlike Annie, Sandra is a little serious like her mom.

“All of you guys, c’mon, sit down, dinner’s served.” Gian’s mom invited all of us to gather around the table.

As we ate, I’m getting more comfortable although I still felt a little flustered whenever Gian’s mom would ask me questions.

We were having a good time when a tall man arrived, carrying a briefcase and some folders.

“Oh, the dining area seems crowded” The man laughed.

“Dad, these are my friends…” Again, Gian introduced us, emphasizing me as his best friend.

Gian’s dad, unlike his wife, is more relaxed and seemed like a jolly fellow. He joined us for dinner.

While eating together in one big table, I felt something different. I felt the warmth of a family. With my friends, Gian and his family all eating together with me, I felt like I’m part of a whole.

When I was at home, this is hardly the case. Even if we’re only three in the family, we never eat together. The dining table at our house had never served its purpose.

This is what I missed. And this is what I’ve been looking for ever since my parents broke up. Tears started to build in my eyes so I tried to hide it by concentrating on my food. Fortunately, my eyes cooperated and I was able to control whatever emotion I felt during that time.

As we finished, Gian’s dad made a remark that we should all feel comfortable and make ourselves at home. We all nodded and thanked them for accommodating us. We also were a bit sorry for bothering them and their humble abode. They assured us that it’s okay and that they are happy that they can help us in our ACADEMIC work.

After cleaning up, we all went up to our room, along with the three girls. Since the desktop PC is located in Gian’s room, we all decided to just stay there so that we could start doing our thesis.

We all took out our laptops and as usual, it was Charm who initiated everything. To be honest, after eating, I would’ve wanted to at least have a little private time with Gian but since Charm wanted to start already, I can’t do anything about it.

After setting up for work, we found out that Gian doesn’t have a wi-fi router. Whew, that posed a problem since we wanted to at least have a connection for all of us so we could all do research. Anyway, since only the desktop computer has internet connection, we cannot do anything about it.

Gian was the one who manned the desktop. If we need to research about something, we just tell them and he was the one who looked for it. Gian was really eager to be of help. Actually, allowing us to use his house is already a big help but he insisted to help us even during researches and conceptualization.

I smiled at Gian as Charm asked him to research about the current market rates of a certain product. Gian smiled back at me. On the corner of my eye, I saw Danny looked at us and I saw a slight hint of confusion. She probably is starting to notice the gestures between me and Gian. I went back to doing my stuff and tried to put the idea at the back of my head.

The room was silent. Everyone’s busy doing what they have to do. Every now and then, I would glance at Gian who’s surfing the net for information that could help us in our thesis. I would then smile and remember the reason why I loved the person staring directly at the desktop monitor. If only we were alone, I would’ve gone straight to him and hugged him tight. I badly wanted to do that but I needed to stop myself. Anyway, I could do that to him once the girls leave the room.

Out of boredom, Rina decided to play music on her laptop, probably to ease the seriousness of the atmosphere. I was a little caught by the song that played.

Three years ago, our journey began
Chasing down this cure, no plan in hand
Just your pulse, my racing guide in the dark
Just knowing with conviction from the start

I stopped what I was doing and looked at Rina. Rina was smiling back at me while her head moved from left to right, following the tune of the music. She probably didn’t know.

Beside her was Danny who also stopped typing. She just stared blankly at the laptop monitor. Then, she probably noticed I’m looking at her. She looked at me and our eyes met. I immediately withdrew my gaze and she did the same. I looked directly at my own monitor but I didn’t do anything. I just listened to the music that played.

The moment your eyes made an introduction
I felt my second violent breath of life
Flawless to the point of being godly
Yet I fell hard for your imperfections

I started humming the song in my head. It was so intoxicating. A lot of memories came rushing back just by hearing that song. I’m sure Danny felt the same.

And now we're slightly weathered, we're slightly worn
Our hands grip together, eye to eye through the storm, yet
I still believe in ever after with you, yeahhhhh
Cuz life is a pleasure with you by my side,
And there ain't no current in this river we can't ride
I still believe in ever after with you

As the chorus played, Rina began to hum the tune. Still, I restrained myself from doing the same. I tried to keep my focus on what I’m doing but the song just kept on bothering me.

I would’ve wanted to let Rina stop playing the song, but it would just cause misunderstanding. She doesn’t know that the song has something to do between me and Danny anyway. It would be inappropriate if I act that way, so I just tried to ignore the song.

But as if mocking me, Rina even turned the volume a little louder and started singing the lyrics of the song.

Nothing compares to the good times
Feels like we're floating, when the rest have to climb
You made me believe in love, and not the perfect kind
A real messy beautiful twisted sunshine

All of a sudden, even Gian started to sing the song. I’ll be God-damned. I thought to myself.
What have I done to deserve this cruelty?

Emotions, volcanic eruptions
We both still care, so we're still alive
Tunnel vision, determination
I want you, I want to make it right

“Vol-key-nic eruptions” I said.
“Vol-key-nic eruptions” Danny said in unison.

We both looked at each other and we laughed. Yeah, suddenly, we both blurted out the same phrase at the same time, in tune with the first line of the stanza.

The others just looked at us with confused faces as to why we both said the same phrase and as to why we laughed.

Danny and I had been both music-lovers. Danny plays the violin and I was the singer. Before, we used to hang out and just sing.

Whenever Danny brings her violin with her, I would be the one to carry it around and people would ask me, even commend me for being able to play the violin.

Well, it was just the image that I wanted to convey. And Danny would just laugh whenever people would think that I really do play the stringed instrument.

Before we shifted, we have this area on the second floor of the Geology building where we usually hangout. We considered it our “tambayan” since we both don’t have organizations.

It was located on an unusually dark hallway on the professors’ floor. Despite the dark hallway (which is kind of eerie because even if it’s sunny outside, the hallway has always been dark the whole day), this hidden area is lighted up and ventilated by the open windows. There was an old couch there and we just accidentally found the place while we were roaming around before our Geology class.

This is where she usually plays the violin. She even tried teaching me once and I was able to play Happy birthday to you after several tries.

After staying there for quite sometime, we went straight to our laboratory class where we’re going to classify rocks.

While me and Danny were looking at the rocks trying to identify them, she suddenly sang the song Ever After by Bonnie Bailley. I looked at her for I know the son but I didn’t know its title that time.

While looking at a rock, Danny reached the stanza on emotions and volcanic eruptions. And with all her heart, she sang “vol-key-nic eruptions” instead of vol-kah-nic eruptions. Then I laughed at her. She looked at me and realized why I laughed and she also began laughing.

“What?! That’s how the singer pronounced the word, I just copied her! It was really vol-key-nic and not vol-kah-nic!”

She was hitting me on my shoulder as I continued to laugh. She was also staring to get teary-eyed while laughing because she kept on insisting that she pronounced the word correctly.

Ever since then, I used to mock her with the song, most specially during our laboratory in Geology where we studied igneous rocks or vol-key-nic rocks.

We were still laughing at the phrase. Gian looked at me intently. When I saw his serious look, my laugh started to subside and so did Danny’s. The atmosphere became tensed again.

After that incident, Gian didn’t look at me. He just looked directly in the computer without saying a word. He knew about us, Danny and I, and he probably got a little jealous. I would just talk to him about that later.

After the song, another song played, and she commented that she loved this next one.

Look inside,
Look inside your tiny mind
Now look a bit harder
Cause we're so uninspired,
so sick and tired of all the
hatred you harbor

I knew I’ve heard the song before but I can’t remember when and where. But I seriously liked the tune. I didn’t care much about the lyrics until the next stanzas that followed.

So you say
It's not okay to be gay
Well I think you're just evil
You're just some racist who
can't tie my laces
Your point of view is medieval

When I heard the word “gay”, I became more interested with the song. I looked at Rina and asked her what the title of the song was. Danny looked at me in a serious manner. Did she hear the word “gay”?

“Fuck you.” Said Rina without looking at me.

“Huh?” I said, quite confused with her response.

“Fuck you.” She said again, flatly.

“What?!” My voice started to get louder. Did she just bad-mouthed me?

“I said, fuck you. Fuck you!”

I was becoming more furious.

“Didn’t you ask for the title of the song. It’s Fuck You by Lily Allen.”

“Oh… Haha, I thought you were denigrating me.” I said, finally calming down.

“Haha, it’s fuck you. Why, did you like the song too?”

“Yeah, so straightforward.”

“I know right!” Rina laughed.

Fuck you (fuck you)
Fuck you very, very much
Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you (fuck you)
Fuck you very, very much
Cause your words don't translate
And it's getting quite late
So please don't stay in touch

I looked at Danny and she looked at me, but she immediately withdrew her gaze. I shifted towards Gian and I didn’t notice he’d been eyeing me and Danny all along.

He probably saw us both looking at each other. I saw the look of irritation and resentment in his face before he turned away.

I finally looked at my computer and sighed. The only word that escaped my mouth was “fuck.”