As Long As Forever – CHAPTER 12

GINO hugged Mushroom tight, he never wanted to let go. Kung pupuwede lang na ipaloob lang niya sa bisig ang kababata sa lahat ng oras, gagawin niya. He never felt anything like this towards any other girl. He never felt so in love. And right now, he never knew it could really hurt so much. Sa nakalipas na mga araw na hindi siya kinikibo ng kababata’y halos mabaliw na siya sa kakaisip. Wala siyang maisip na paraan. Natitiyope siya sa tuwing kaharap ito. Nawawala ang diskarte niya. Si Mushroom lang ang may kakayahang magpangiti at magpatawa sa kanya. Ito lang ang may kakayahang patiklupin ang tuhod niya’t pakabahin ang dibdib niya. At ito lang din ang may kakayahang saktan siya ng husto. But he didn’t mind the hurt. He can get along with it. Dahil si Mushroom lang ang bukod-tanging  nakakapagpasaya sa masalimuot na buhay niya. Makasama lang niya ito, napapawi na ang lahat ng sakit at alalahanin ng dibdib niya. She could be his reason for living. She could be everything he could desire. Pero papaano ngayon na kailangan niya itong iwan? Pakiramdam niya’y mapupunit ang puso niya sa tindi ng sakit.

Kung kailan pa handa na siyang magtapat ng tunay niyang nararamdaman para dito saka pa nagdesisyon ang Mommy niya na tuluyan silang manirahan sa States. He never wanted to leave. But he doesn’t have a choice dahil pinal na ang desisyon ng ina. His mom had been thinking about it for years. He thought she had forgotten about it. He never thought it would eventually come, that they have to leave their home and all the people they love. Leaving Mushroom tears him apart. Kung may paraan lang para manatili sila, gagawin niya. Pero desidido na ang Mommy niya at wala siyang kakayanang suwayin ito.

Mushroom’s sweet-smelling hair filled his lungs. And he wondered if he could take some of it para hindi niya ito masayadong ma-miss. He is going to miss all of her. Every detail about her is a part of his life. At bukas, mag-iiba na ang tingin niya sa mundo. Mag-iiba na ang tingin niya sa buhay. And he knew, he would definitely struggle to survive.

“May last part pa yung narinig mo kanina,” aniya saka pinakawalan at humarap sa dalaga. His heart ached as he saw her in tears. “Mamimiss ko ang mukha mo na nakikita ko tuwing umaga. Mamimiss ko ang tawa at ngiti mong kayganda. Higit sa lahat, mamimiss ko ang pagbigkas ng pangalan mo. Kasi ikaw lang ang nag-iisang Mushroom ng buhay ko.” He smiled shyly. “Parang tula ng tanga ano?” aniyang pagak na tumawa.

Pilit itong ngumiti. Naging abnormal na naman ang tibok ng dibdib niya. He could take some of that smile too. Kinapa niya ang maliit na kahon sa bulsa niya. Matagal na niyang hawak-hawak iyon. Kumunot ang noo ng dalaga nang buksan niya iyon. It was a beautiful silver ring. He should’ve brought the one with diamonds, kaso hindi pa kaya ng savings niya.

“Graduation gift ko sana. Na-late kasi hindi naman kita pwedeng lapitan.”

Hindi ito nakatutol nang kunin niya ang kamay nito’t isinuot dito ang singsing. Her hands were probably the softest hands he ever held and wanted to hold on to forever. He felt like the spaces between his fingers were made so she could fill it with hers. Namimilog ang mga matang napatingin ito sa kanya.

“A-Ano ‘to?” nauutal nitong tanong.

“Friendship ring.” simpleng sagot niya kahit inaatake na ng kaba ang dibdib.

Tumaas ang kilay nito. “Hindi naman tayo friends ah.”

“Eh, di engagement ring na lang,” pabirong sagot niya.

Bumuka ang bibig nito ngunit tila wala itong maapuhap sabihin. Pagkuwa’y malakas na tinampal ang braso niya. “Hindi yan magandang biro!”

Sumeryoso ang mukha niya at hinawakan ang kamay nito. Ilang gabi niyang pinag-aralan kung ano ang sasabihin. Pero hanggang ngayon, hindi pa rin niya makabisado ang linya lalo pa’t inaatake siya ng nerbiyos sa presensiya ng kababata.

“Mush,” alumpihit siya saka napabuntong-hininga. “I never wanted to leave, but I need to. I don’t want to be away from you dahil gusto kita…” napalunok siya dahil tila may bumara sa lalamunan. “Gusto kitang–” Humapdi ang mga mata niya. Kumurap-kurap siya saka tumitig ulit sa kababata. “Gusto kitang ligawan.” Nagpakawala siya ng malalim na hininga. There... Pakiramdam niya’y nabunutan siyang tinik sa dibdib. Nagkibit-balikat siya. “Alam ko, malabong maging tayo. Dahil ni platonic relationship, wala tayo. Pero, gusto kita, Mushroom. Dahil…” Napatitig siya sa mga mata nito. And he felt that strange force that’s pulling him, making him aware of nothing else but her.

“Dahil ano?” anito na pinandilatan siya. Saka lang niya napagtantong nakatitig lang siya sa magandang mukha nito. Matagal. He felt like he was in a trance. At nabibingi na siya sa lakas ng kabog ng dibdib.

“D-Dahil mahal na kita noon pa,” aniya saka ngumiti. Mushroom’s cheeks blushed, and she looked more beautiful than ever. She could take his breath away with just a blush. And he felt his face turned red too. “Hindi ko alam kung paano nangyari, basta naramdaman ko na lang. Masaya ako pag masaya ka. Malungkot kapag malungkot. At sumisikip ang dibdib ko sa tuwing sumasama ang loob mo sa’kin. Mahal kita pero hindi ko alam kung papaano sasabihin sa’yo na hindi ka magagalit.”

Awang ang bibig na napatingin ito sa kanya. Tila hindi makapaniwala. At isa iyon sa hindi niya maintindihan. Bakit ba hindi maramdaman ni Mushroom na mahal niya ito? O mas angkop sabihin, bakit ba palpak lahat ng diskarte niya rito?

“I know it’s too late to say this. But if the time should come for both of us, no kidding, pakakasalan kita. If I’d still be alive for the next years to come and you’re still free, tandaan mo, babalikan kita.” Napabuntong-hininga siya. Sana sa huling minuto’y magbago ang desisyon ng Mommy niya. Ayaw niyang umalis. Ayaw niyang iwanan ang kababata. Pero ilang beses na siyang nakiusap sa ina pero pinal na ang desisyon nito. It will take them years bago pa man bumalik dito. And it will be selfish if he will make Mushroom wait. That was what he was prepared to say but he found it so hard to bring out the words. Pero hindi niya ito puwedeng paasahin sa pagmamahal na siya mismo hindi niya alam kung magkakaroon ng katuparan. “But I don’t want you to wait for me. That would be the most stupid thing you’d ever do. Dahil wala namang katiyakan kung babalik kami dito.  Kapag nag-asawa ka na kung sakaling nakabalik ako, eh di friendship ring natin ‘to. Ayos, di ba?”

MUSHROOM was bewildered by Gino’s revelation. Nagugulumihang bumuka ang labi niya pero wala na naman siyang maapuhap na salita. Tila hindi niya maintindihan ang sinasabi nito. He said he’d marry her but he doesn’t want her to wait for him. Ano ba talaga?

“Then why are you telling these things to me?” She tried hard not to look desperate. Pilit niyang pinatatag ang boses. “First, you told me promises you can’t even keep. And now you’re telling me you like me but you’re sure there can never be us. And you wanted to marry me but you’re not even sure you’re coming back. Kung hindi rin naman mangyayari, bakit kailangan mo pang sabihin? ” Muling bumagsak ang luha niyang kanina pa nagbabantang pumatak at muli’y hindi niya maitago iyon. “For the nth time, Gino, hindi na nakakatuwa ang sinasabi mo!”

Hinigpitan nito ang hawak sa dalawang kamay niya at mataman siyang tinitigan, tila humihingi ng pang-unawa. “I’m serious, Mushroom. Sabi ko nga sa’yo lang ako seryoso, di ba? I know I shouldn’t have said these things I am saying right now but I can’t leave keeping it to myself. Akala ko kaya kong ipunin lahat sa dibdib ko, pero parang sasabog na ako sa sakit. It’s hard, Mush… It’s so hard… because in the first place, I never wanted to leave you. Gusto kong sabay tayo mag-college. Gusto ko nasa tabi mo parati kahit pa ayaw mo. Basta gusto ko lang makasama ka kahit gaano katagal.” Napabuga ito ng hininga. “Pero hindi ko na mababago ang desisyon ni Mommy. It’s better for us to live in the States.” malungkot na sabi nito. “I wanted to give you assurance na babalik ako pero alam kong hindi ko kaya. If I had a choice, I want to stay here because I know my life will never be the same without you.”

Tila hindi na titigil ang luha niya kaya hinayaan niyang pumatak iyon. “Then stay. If you can’t come back, just stay.” mariing bulong niya. Nilunok niya ang pride niya at isinandal ang ulo sa dibdib nito at doon umiyak. “Just stay,” ulit niya. She can’t bear waking up tomorrow with Gino gone.

“I wish I can…” halos hindi iyon lumabas sa bibig ng binata. Mushroom’s cry is breaking him.

Kinagat ni Mushroom ang labi para pigilin ang sariling mapahagulhol. She has to say goodbye. Matagal na niyang alam iyon. Pero ngayon, tila hindi niya kayang bumitaw. Ang sakit-sakit ng dibdib niya. “Bakit kailangan mo pang bumait kung aalis ka rin lang?” parang batang sambit niya habang humihikbi.

Ini-angat nito ang mukha niya at tininitigan siya. His eyes were misty. “Matagal na akong mabait, ah. Hindi mo lang napapansin.” Pinahid nito ang luha sa mga mata niya. “I don’t want to see you cry, Mush. Because it’s tearing me apart. And the worse thing is I don’t know what to do to keep you from hurting. I wish I could shield you. I wish I can take all that can hurt you.”

Nagsalubong ang tingin nila. And for what felt like forever, their eyes locked. Unti-unting bumaba ang mukha ni Gino sa mukha niya. She knew he’s about to kiss her. Nandoon na naman ang pamilyar na kaba na si Gino lang ang may dahilan. And just like during the prom night, hindi niya maigalaw ang sarili. Ang pagkakaiba nga lang ay ayaw niyang gumalaw. She waited for Gino’s kiss.

Halos gahibla na lang ang pagitan ng mga mukha nila. Gino waited for Mushroom to move her head away pero hindi umiwas ang dalaga. Bumilis ang tahip ng dibdib niya. Tinitigan niya ang magandang mukha nito saka pumikit at dinama ang labi nito sa huling pagkakataon.

As Mushroom closed her eyes and felt Gino’s lips on hers, her tears rolled down her cheek. And she couldn’t almost contain the emotion that’s consuming all of her at that moment. Gino’s lips was soft and tender which send shivers down her spine. Hinapit siya nito palapit habang unti-unting dumidiin ang halik nito. And Mushroom could not almost contain being so happy and being so sad at the same time.

Unti-unting naghiwalay ang labi nila. At ganoon na lang ang pag-iinit ng pisngi niya. They kissed! Napayuko siya pero sinapo ni Gino ang mukha niya at mataman siyang tinitigan.

“You may never understand how, but I’ve loved you from the start. And I promise to love you as long as forever.” halos bulong na sabi nito.

Mahal din kita... gusto niyang sabihin iyon pero alam niyang oras na magsalita siya’y hindi na titigil ang pag-iyak niya. And she doesn’t want that to be the last thing Gino would remember. Narinig nilang tinatawag ulit si Gino sa kabilang bahay. Nagtinginan sila saka halos sabay na napabuntong-hininga.

“Goodbye, my Mushroom…” There were tears in Gino’s eyes. And he hugged Mushroom for the last time saka unti-unting itong pinakawalan. Pakiramdam niya’y malaking bahagi ng pagkatao niya ang maiiwan dito. And though he never heard anything from her, he knew Mushroom felt the same. She loves him. Iyon ang gusto niyang paniwalaan. Iyon ang gusto niyang baunin sa pag-alis niya.

MUSHROOM never felt so abandoned in her life. Pinilit niyang kalmahin ang sarili. She shouldn’t be weak. Nang pinakawalan nila ang isa’t isa, she hurriedly scooped Snowhite.

“Bye, Gino,” aniyang pigil-pigil mapabunghalit ng iyak. Nagmamadali siyang tumalikod at tinakbo ang pintuan ng bahay nila. Dapat hindi siya lumingon. Naaalala niya ang kasabihang iyon. If you don’t want to miss the person never look back after you said goodbye. But she felt her own heart sinking at hindi niya napigilan ang sariling mapalingon. And she saw his eyes as though in misery. Itinaas nito ang kamay at malungkot na kinawayan siya.

There goes her first love… and here goes her first heartache…

That was the last image of Gino that has been long kept in her mind. The image that hunted her almost every night. The very thought that hurt her every single day of every single year. The saying must’ve been right… Because she had been missing Gino. And she felt an unexplainable feeling of torture every single breath since the day he left.

THE END …


…of Part One po! 🙂

Maraming salamat sa patuloy ninyong pagbabasa at pag-iiwan ng komento.  Masaya po ako at nagustuhan ninyo ang kuwentong ito.

I hope you’d love the second part of this story as you’ve loved the first. Posting will start next year :).  Kalimutan na muna natin ang lungkot at magsaya dahil magpapasko na! MWF pa rin yung sked. Nawa’y antabayanan n’yo pa rin 🙂

As we celebrate Christmas, let us all be reminded one silent night that the whole world was made holy… and let us not forget the greatest gift we received is the day that salvation came to us. Let us offer our hearts to Him, who humbled Himself and came to us and brought light that we may never go astray. He gave us His love and He is continually giving it. Let us give love to one another as we give thanks to Him.

Maraming thank you sa inyong lahat! Mahal ko kayo!

Merry merry Christmas!

God bless us all!

Wishing you a very happy christmas,

Calla Lily 🙂



39 thoughts on “As Long As Forever – CHAPTER 12

  1. nakakaubos pla ng luha ito.. thanks calla..nalate man ako ng pagbabasa, sulit kc ang ganda.. sya pla c Gino na binabanggit nila.. ehehhee..

  2. ouch !! can you imagine i can’t relate it to myself but i sobbed nakakatouch talaga, ang sakit sa puso .. hindi ko na alam anong gagawin !! ms. calla your the best writer. i’ve read many pocketbooks from enlish to tagalog pero ngayon lang ako na pa sob sa isang estorya !! i love you <3

  3. my fault was—eto ang inuna kong sinilip wahaha. dapat pala tgnan kona muna ung first chpter..well i wanna find out–meron na ba chpter two nito?

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