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Chapter 7

(Charlene's pov)

"Kinakabahan ako, Ma." Sabi ko kay Mama nang tawagin ako ng organizer at sinabing magsisimula na. Parang hinahalukay ang tyan ko sa sobrang kaba. At parang gusto ko nang umatras na lang.

"Ganyan lang talaga ang pakiramdam anak. Nandito lang kami ng Papa mo para sayo." I hugged my mom for the last time, as a maiden.

Nagulat ako sa lakas ng palakpakan na sumalubong sa akin pagkabukas na pagkabukas ng pinto leading to the wedding venue. And I was amazed by the decorations. Bilang babae may sarili akong wedding dreams. Pero kabog na kabog ng kasalang ito ang lahat ng mga fantasies ko about weddings. Sobrang daming bagong mukha ang nakikita ko sa paligid. Iilan lang ang kakilala ko dahil karamihan ay mga kaibigan ng pamilya ni Greg. Halatang mga mayayaman ang imbitado sa kasal na ito. Pero nakakatuwa dahil lahat sila ay parang manghang mangha nang lumabas ako.

I feel very beautiful. I feel so much appreciated and so much special. Naiiyak ako but I don't want to ruin my make up kaya kailangan kong pigilan. Kung talagang mahal ko lang sana ang pakakasalan ko siguro kumpleto na ang lahat.

I took one step on the red carpet and saw my groom on the other end. Greg is wearing a black tuxedo and black bow tie. His undercut brown hair suits perfectly with his serious eyes.

Lalo akong kinabahan. Hindi ko inasahan na mapapapayag sya sa kasalang ito kaya naiintindihan ko kung bakit parang naiinis sya sa akin. Hindi na tuloy ako makangiti and I am a hundred percent sure na mukhang biyernes santo ang itsura ko sa mga pictures.

"You okay?" agad na tanong nya sa akin nang hawakan nya ang kamay ko papunta sa tabi nya. I was surprised by his question so I chose to just nod and gave a small smile.

Lalo akong namangha sa kagwapuhan nya nang magkalapit kami. His face screams perfection. And I can't believe I am to be married with this man. He was holding my hand all throughout the ceremony and that made me kind of comfortable.

"Do you take Charlene as your lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish until death do you part?" the priest asked and I grew nervous.

Paano kung humindi si Greg at biglang mag walk out na naman at iwan ako sa harap ng maraming tao? Ako ang magiging pinaka kahiya hiyang babae dito pag nagkataon. Mapapahiya ako sa harap ng mayayamang mga kaibigan nila. Mapapahiya kami ng anak ko.

I looked up at Greg when it took him about five seconds to answer. He was grinning ear to ear.

"Yes, I do." Sagot nya at napabuntong hininga ako.

Siguro naisip nya rin yung mga naisip ko at ayaw nya rin naming masayang ang nagastos, hirap at pagod ng pamilya nya kaya sumang ayon na lang sya.

"Do you take Greg as your lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish until death do you part?"

When it was my turn to answer, it was as if my throat went dry. Ganito pala ang pakiramdam. This is far difficult that the million question round of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. This is a question that I know will forever change my life. If for the better or for worse, I have no idea. Lumingon ako sa mga tao sa likod, kina mama at papa, sa kapatid ko, sa mommy ni Greg...All of them are expectant. All of them are smiling.

Tiningnan ko si Greg at parang nagagalit na sya dahil sa tagal kong magsalita. I took a deep breath and answered.

"Yes, father."

"Okay, I now pronounce you husband and wife! You may now kiss the bride."

Lumawak ang ngiti ni Greg at bigla akong kinabahan. Expertise nga pala ng isang casanova ang paghalik. I am sure we already kissed the night when something happened but I just couldn't remember it. Ni wala akong matandaan sa nangyari noon. Ang alam ko lang sobrang sakit ng buong katawan ko kinabukasan.

He slowly lift up my veil without losing that naughty smile. He pulled me by the waist at unti unti niyang inilapit ang labi nya sa akin. Napapikit ako.

Nagdampi ang mga labi namin. His lips lovingly moved against mine kaya feeling ko nanlambot ang tuhod ko. The crowed cheer when our lips parted but I think my heart beat is way louder than them.

- - - - - -

Sa reception may sayawan. Kinatyawan kami na sumayaw daw. Ayokong pumayag kasi baka mahalata nila na ayaw namin sa isat isa. Pero nagulat ako sa binulong nya.

"Makisakay ka na lang. Ako rin ayaw ko pero pagbigyan natin sila kahit ngayon lang."

Tumayo sya at inoffer ang kamay nya na inabot ko naman. Parang may kuryenteng dumaloy sa katawan ko. Pero ayokong ientertain ang nararamdaman ko na iyon kaya binalewala ko na lang.

At habang sumasayaw kami, This I Promise You ang tinutugtog. Ito yata ang theme song namin kasi kanina pa sya tinutugtog. Hindi naman nakakasawa yung kanta kasi ang ganda ng melody at ng message. Nakakaiyak nga sana kung totoong couple lang sana kami at kung totoong may pangako nga sana kaming magmahalan until the end.

"You look beautiful." He complimented and I felt my face flared. My eyes widened when he pulled me against him because I felt a bulge pressing on my stomach.

"Are you...?" inis na tanong ko. Lumayo ako sa kanya pero mas hinila nya ako.

"Don't move. Or they'll see how aroused I am because of you."

"Ang perv mo talaga." I rolled my eyes at him and he just laughed.

"You're my wife now. I don't think there's wrong with that." He kissed me on the cheek. "Hindi ko maipapangako na magiging mabuti akong asawa sa'yo. I'm sorry." kumirot ang puso ko sa sinabi nya. Though alam ko naman na right from the start hindi nya ako tanggap masakit lang pala talaga na sa kanya mismo nanggaling ang mga salitang yun.

"Oo, alam ko naman yun. This marriage is purely for the sake of our child."

"Alright, good." He nodded. I looked away and just stayed silent until the music ended. I went back to my seat while Greg went somewhere.

Napahinga na lang ako nang malalim. Sobrang hirap magpretend na okay ka lang sa harap mismo ng taong nananakit sayo. Sobrang sakit magpigil ng luha. Hindi rin kasi ako yung tipo na nagpapakita ng luha sa harap ng iba. Hanggang kaya ko, pinipigilan ko. I hate showing weakness. Nagulat ako nang biglang may yumakap sa akin mula sa likuran.

"Congrats best!"

"Mariz! " Napatayo ako at yumakap pabalik sa kanya. "Buti nandito ka!"

"Of course! Hindi ako nagdalawang isip nang matanggap ko ang invitation kahapon. Kasal kaya ito ng bestfriend ko."

"Salamat talaga best. Akala ko puro family friend lang ni Greg ang invited eh. Tara upo ka." I assisted her to the chair beside me.

"Late lang ako sa ceremony kaya siguro hindi mo ako nakita. Anyways..." She got something from her bag and handed it to me. "Pasensya na sa gift ko ha. Medyo hindi ko napaghandaan."

"Sana nga hindi ka na nag abala eh."

"Ano ka ba naman. Para saan pa at naging mag bestfriend tayo diba? O, kumusta ka naman? How does it feel to be Mrs Francisco?"

I gave her a sad smile.

"Ganun pa rin naman."

"Nako best ha. Iyang asawa mo maloko yan. Hindi na uso ang martir sa panahon natin. Kailangan mas mautak ka. Kapag nambabae, makipaghiwalay ka pero kailangang bigyan ka nya ng kalahati ng yaman nya."

"Hindi ko naman kailangan ng yaman nya best." I told her. "I need a father to my son." She rolled her eyes at what I said.

"Just take care of yourself, okay? Please kahit iyan na lang. At kapag kailangan mo ng kausap, I am just always a call away."

"Thank you, Mariz." I hugged her to hide my tears.

Surely I am blessed with people who loves me. I may have not found an ideal husband, maybe I should just focus on the things and people I have and just be contented.

Nagpaalam si Mariz matapos ang ilang oras na kwentuhan. Naiwan na naman ako dito. Pinagmamasdan ang buong lugar, ang mga taong masayang nagkukuwentuhan at nagtatawanan. This should be a celebration of love. Mas masaya siguro kung totoong kasal to. Yung totoong nagmamahalan kami. Kaso masyadong imposible ang iniisip ko.

Tumayo ako sa kinauupuan ko at naglakad papuntang CR dahil kanina pa ako ihing ihi. Habang naglalakad sa hallway ay may narinig akong mahina pero kakaibang tunog. Ilang beses akong nagpalingon lingon sa paligid pero wala naman masyadong tao dito.

"Ahh. You really are a good kisser." Narinig kong boses ng isang babae. It sounded like a moan.

I have decided to just shrug what I heard off but I was surprised when I opened the restroom's door. It was my newly acquired husband and a woman who looked like a waitress based on her uniform.

The woman was hugging Greg on his neck while Greg is busy doing things on the woman's chest when I saw them. Nagtama ang mga mata namin ni Greg. I was hoping he would feel a little guilty with what he did but he's Greg Francisco. He just smirked at me and pulled the girl.

"Let's go somewhere private." He told the girl before they went out of the rest room.

Napahawak ako sa pader dahil pakiramdam ko ay nanghina ako sa nasaksihan ko. Naramdaman ko na lang na may tumulo galing sa mga mata ko.

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