It happened so fast, na pakiramdam yata ni Hikari ay mamamatay na siya anumang oras ng mga sandaling iyon. And all she could ever do is close her own eyes, not knowing exactly what fate might crush into her.
She waited for a second for the next thing to happen. But all she could hear is nothing but silence. Napadilat siya at nakita niya ang kotse sa harapan niya na ilang dipa lamang ang distansya mula sa kinatatayuan niya. There is no mistaking it, the car was Rohann’s. Ngayo’y nakahinto na ito.
It almost crushed her life, but just for a second, she was saved dahil nagawang itigil ni Rohann just in time ang matuling pagtakbo nito sa kotse.
Dali-dali agad itong bumaba mula sa kotse nito at tarantang nilapitan siya.
But she was startled when he instantly embraced her and wrapped her tightly in his own arms. That very moment enraptured almost everything in her being. It was like she was being held by her knight-in-shining-armour, and it seemed like it would even take her thousands of years before she could actually feel this magical feeling.
This tight embrace… The feeling is strange…
But no matter how strange it is, she wouldn’t mind it at all. What’s important is that, it makes her feel whole, complete…
“Are you okay, Hikari?,” he worriedly asked. “You were almost killing me with that. I was very frightened I could kill myself if something happened to you again with my own fault.”
Bakas sa mga mata nito ang labis na pag-aalala.
“Please don’t do that again,” he gently said while cupping her own face by his own hands. “Please don’t ever cross the road again carelessly.”
Napalingon siya at nakita niyang wala na sa paligid si Robert pati ang kotse nito. Kanina lamang ay sinusundan siya nito, which terrified and her that leads her into this situation. Ngunit ngayo’y nakapagtatakang bigla itong nawala na parang bula.
“I’m sorry..,” she said. “M-May iniiwasan kasi ako kaya nagmamadali akong tumakbo,” aniya nang makakalas mula sa pagkakayakap nito sa kanya. “A-At hindi na ako nakapag-isip nang tumawid sa daan.”
Napahugot na lamang ito ng malalim na hininga sa sinabi niya. His eyes were filled with relief when finally he became aware that she’s now safe and was out of danger.
Mag-a-alas sais na nang ihatid siya ng binata sa bahay nila. Nasa tapat na sila ng bahay nang yayain niya itong tumuloy muna.
“I’m sorry, Hikari, pero medyo nagmamadali kasi ako ngayon. We will be having a meeting any minute by now,” he gently refused.
“I-It’s okay,” she said. All she ever want is to see him still kahit ilang minuto lang. But she understands.
Napatingin siya dito.
“If it’s okay with you, can I invite you tomorrow for a… Well, for a date perhaps,” seryosong wika nito.
Natigilan siya. A date?
“That is,” dagdag nito. “If you’re not busy, and if there’s no one who would be mad at me.” Napangiti ito sa huling sinabi.
Is this for real? Halos hindi siya makapaniwala. Rohann is inviting her for a date? Parang gusto na tuloy niyang magtatalon sa sobrang tuwa. Tomorrow is Saturday, a perfect date for a so-called date.
But, she has to act herself at hindi dapat magpahalata dito na nai-excite siya o tuwang-tuwa sa paanyaya nito. Baka anong maging impression nito sa kanya.
“Hikari…?,” nag-aalangang sambit nito nang walang marinig na anumang tugon mula sa kanya.
“R-Rohann..” She couldn’t even utter a word on how to say ‘yes’.
“I understand,” nakauunawang anito. “Hindi maikakailang isa pa tin akong estranghero para sa’yo, after all. And I’m still the person who almost accidentally took your life away.”
“Rohann,” aniya na gustong i-correct ito sa pag-aakalang nagdadalawang-isip siyang paunlakan ang imbitasyon nito sa isang date. “It’s not what you think it is. I’m… I’m sorry I was just a little bit… surprised.”
Ilang segundong namayani ang katahimikan between the two of them.
“I am going with you,” she finally said.
Nakita niya ang pagliwanang ng mukha nito.
“Great! Then, it’s a date. Tomorrow, then. I’ll fetch you here, alright?”
Napatango siya, hindi na nagawang itago ang ngiti sa mga labi. She will be going out for a date with him… tomorrow. Parang hindi na siya makapaghintay. She was too happy to even think about it!
Pagkakinabukasan, alas-sais ng gabi ay sinundo siya ni Rohann sa kanilang bahay. Pinatuloy niya muna ito sa hiling na rin nitong makausap at personal na magpaalam sa kanyang mga magulang para ipasyal siya.
“Walang problema, Rohann,” nakangiting pagpayag ng papa niya nang magpaalam ang binata na sasamahin siyang mamasyal.
Kahit papaano ay magaan naman ang loob ng parents niya kay Rohann, kahit sabihin pang nasagasaan siya nito at muntik-muntikan na siyang mamatay.
“Basta’t ipangako mong iuuwi mo ang aming unica-hija dito safely,” anito. Dinagdagan pa nito ng biro ang huling sinabi. “And uninjured.” He smiled.
Natawa naman sila sa biro ng kanyang ama.
“Maaasahan nyo po, sir,” magalang na wika ni Rohann. “I promise to take good care of Hikari and bring her home safe.”
“Very well,” sabi ng papa niya.
Napangiti naman ang mama niya, halata na gusto nitong maging malapit si Hikari at Rohann sa isa’t isa. Hindi pa man ay parang gusto na niyang maniwala na boto ang mga ito kay Rohann para sa kanya. Gusto naman niyang pagalitan ang sarili. Hindi yata’t ang bilis niyang mag-assume na liligawan siya ng binata.
They first go out on a dinner at a fine restaurant in the city. Habang kumakain ay nadiskubre ni Hikari na hindi naman pala mahirap pakisamahan ang binata. He is definitely so natural at hindi nito itinatago ang tunay na personalidad.
Ang akala niya ay tipong seryosohin ito, but she was surprised to discover that he has a different side, too. Madalas din itong magpatawa at hindi niya maikakaila sa sariling nalilibang siya sa company nito.
And not only that, habang tumatagal ay mas lalo siyang nami-mesmerized sa kagwapuhang taglay nito. The first time she saw him, in that certain hospital when she first opened her eyes after such an accident, she particularly noticed his grayish eyes. Malamlam ang mga iyon na tila nangungusap. And those eyes speak of different emotions, which totally wraps her entire mind with so much bewilderment, so much confusion…
Pagkatapos nilang kumain ay pumunta sila sa isang tahimik na beach at doon ay nagpahangin.
The stars looked perfectly radiant in the skies. It almost made her think that it was the same as what she feels deep inside.
The stars being so bright… Just like her own heart… It suddenly became clear and scintillating… all for just one splendid reason…
Napatingin siya sa binata. He came into her life all of a sudden. Not knowing that he would change something strange in her world… Something in her soul, and it couldn’t be found anywhere in this world.
Call it fantasy and pure foolishness, but this guy is mysteriously something…
Nagtaka naman ito sa weird na klase ng pagtitig niya sa mukha nito.
“What is it, Hikari?,” takang tanong nito.
Para namang napapahiyang agad niyang binawi ang tingin dito.
“Nothing,” she denied.
Binale-wala na lamang nito ang tungkol doon. They spent several minutes just gazing at the starts while walking.
“’Hikari’,” banggit nito sa pangalan niya. “Such a unique name,” anito makaraan ang ilang sandali. “Tell me, where did your parents got your name?”
“My mom is a half-Korean,” wika niya. “I remember she told me that she has a younger sister named Hikari. But unfortunately, she died because of a serious illness when my mom was still four and that Hikari was still a baby.”
“I see,” he said.
“Kaya ‘yon… Noong ipanganak ako, ipinangalanan niya akong ‘Hikari’, in memory of her lost baby sister.”
“That must really be sad, but your mom happily gave that name to you.”
“I never knew you have a Korean blood… Kaya pala may pagka-singkit ang mga mata mo.”
He was right. Tsinita siya kung i-describe ng mga kakilala niya. Namana niya ang mga matang iyon sa mama niya. At hindi lang iyon, naman rin niya ang maputi at makinis nitong kutis na kinaiinggitan ng baklang kaibigan niyang si Steve.
“Have I known earlier,” he said. “I should’ve took you to a Korean Restaurant here in the city.”
“No need for that,” aniya. “Parating nagluluto si mama ng Korean foods sa bahay kahit walang okasyon, kaya medyo nakakasawa na rin. Pero mas maganda rin sana kung sa isang Korean Restaurant tayo kumain kanina, para matikman mo rin ang iba oang food specialty ng Korea.”
“Sayang,” nanghihinayang na sabi nito. “Hindi pa naman ako masyadong nakakatikim ng mga putahe ng Korea. My mom never cooks those foods to us. Ang natitikman ko pa nga lang ay Korean Beef Steak, eh.”
Natawa siya sa sinabi nito.
“Hindi bale, marami pa namang araw. We could eat together there next time,” he gently said.
Dahil sa sinabi nito ay muli na naman siyang natigilan.
That means to say, muli pa silang magkakasama at may plano pa itong i-date siyang muli. Hindi niya maipaliwanag sa sarili kung gaano siya kasaya dahil doon.
Marami pa silang napagkwentuhang kung anu-ano. Nagkwento rin ito ng tungkol sa buhay nito.
Nalaman niya mula rito na isa pala itong fresh graduate ng Engineering sa isang tanyag na Unibersidad sa Manila at ngayo’y isa nang ganap na Landscape Engineer sa isang matayog na Construction Company.
At nalaman niya rin na nasa Amerika ang buong pamilya nito at doon na nag-migraite.
“And you chosed to be alone here in the Philippines?” Hikari was curioused to find out the reason kung bakit pinili nitong mapag-isa dito sa Pilipinas.
“Actually, my family migraited in the US for almost two months already. At hinihintay na nila akong sumunod doon. They expect me to be there soon.”
“R-Really?,” aniya na bahagyang nalungkot sa isiping iyon.
So, Rohann is about to move there in the US… And that means, she will never ever see him again for a long time. And only time could say when.
“Yeah, and just last week, I decided to follow them. But…”
Hinintay niya ang anumang susunod nitong sasabihin.
Napahinga ito ng malalim.
“Sometimes,” anito na nakatanaw sa malayong bahagi ng dagat na iniilawan ng nagkikislapang mga bituin. “There are things that stop you from going. Especially when those things are worth staying for… Even just for a few moment.”
She doesn’t have any hint of what he means with that statement. What she was aware of is, the feelings she is keeping for him is becoming more intense, that it makes her long to see him and be with him more and more.
Pinilit na lamang niya ang sariling maging masigla.
“So,” aniya. “If you’ll be leaving a few days from now, then why don’t you enjoy your stay here to the fullest?” She smiled.
Napangiti na rin ito.
“Yeah, I know. And I’d be spending that few more moments with no other person but you, Hikari…”
What he just said was like a sweet music to her ears. Kahit alam niyang aalis rin ito sa buhay niya anytime soon, magiging masaya na rin siya kahit papaano. Because she knows that even if he has to go somewhere very far, the fact still remains that he once came into her life once in her lifetime. And he was part of her everything. Hinding-hindi niya pagsisisihang minsan siyang nasagasaan at naging kritikal dahil dito. Because it was the sweetest day of her history… And never will she forget about him. Not ever.
“Rohann…,” sambit niya sa pangalan nito.
“There is one thing I need to ask about you before you leave this country,” she bravely said.
Napatitig naman sa kanya ang malamlam na mga mata nito.
“What is it, Hikari?”
“Can you… Can you show me everything about your life? I just… I just want to know how your life runs before I met you.”
“What exactly do you mean?” He was confused with what she said.
“I want to be a part of your world.”
Hindi niya alam kung saan niya kinuha ang lakas para sabihin ang mga katagang iyon. Ganoon ba talaga ang nagagawa ng isang pusong determinadong magmahal at mahalin ng isang taong itinitibok ng puso?
“Please show me your world, Rohann. And everything that revolves around it,” she added at saka napatungo na lamang. Ngayon ay hindi na nag-e-effect ang lakas na nakuha kung saan, dahil ngayon lang niya na-realized na nakakahiya pala ang sabihin ang bagay na iyon in front of a guy she admires so much.
Rohann gently pull her chin by his hand to make her stare at his eyes. Matagal siyang tinitigan ng malamlam na mga mata nito. Halos hindi na niya malabanan ang mga titig nito sa kanyang mga mata.
It was the strongest sensation she ever felt ever since the day she became aware of this world. Natatangay siya sa presensya ng binata. Deep inside her, she secretly shivers sa kakaibang nararamdaman na hindi man lang niya maipaliwanag.
“Then I’d be very much willing to show you everything in my world, Hikari,” wika nito, his voice as usually cold. Ginagagap pa rin nito ang maamo niyang mukha. “Everything what you want to know about it and its contents.”
He smiled at her and gently pulled her towards his body.
She was fully captivated with so many emotions now.
He was embracing her… And it felt so good to her. Para siyang idinuduyan sa alapaap ng mga sandaling iyon. She wished it would never end…