And so the night wore on. Around 7 PM, I found myself still finishing the last few pages of something I was doing for some client. I texted Rex.
"Bear with me. Is everyone around? Will be there As soon as I can."
"Ikaw na lang kulang."
I know etchos lang to. I'm sure kung ako na lang kulang, nakapagsimula na sila. What should my presence be for them to really wait.
"Shet! I swear! Ipa auction ko na gid ni ya ang Versace ko nga gown. Naghalug na naman ang hawak gina pa adjust pa. Sorry! ara na!
*** Shet I swear. I will really auction off this Versace gown. The hips got very loose again and needs to be adjusted. Sorry! I'm on my way!
Almost everyone was there. More importantly, Perlas was OK and she was already off the IV and walking around already. She even got permitted to go downstairs with a nurse in tow. She can't go out though. She stayyed at the lobby area and needed to come back up to her room. Rex decided to talk outside, somewhere nearby, since we can't all fit in Perlas' room, and since it was semi-private, only two visitors were allowed at a time.
There was a bridge somewhere near, and after Perlas had her own talk with W, she went back to her room. W finally got to tak to us. He apologized for the blahblah of the chuva yadda yadda yadda. Before he was even finished, somebody from the group countered, and I just had to take it upon myself to 'moderate' the 'forum.'
"Wait, let him say everything that he has to say. Each one will be given time to say his/her piece, ask his/her question, and when everyone is done, W will answer, and then Rex will say what he has to say." I was tempted to add, this is modified Oxford Oregon, after which, there will be a rebuttal. Hehehehe... gawin bang debate?
It felt really off and weird for me. Everyone said their piece, and most, especially the girls were furious in varying degrees. How, W was so callous and remorseless, not dignifying Rex with even a decent reply to his texts, sometimes, for days on end, and after a week of nothing, he suddenly texts "Hi Mine, are you still Mine?" They call each other mine. The cruel word smith in me says: Mine? As in Gold mine? How appropriate! Kulang na lang sabihin na ginamit lang ni W si Rex. Pag nag aaway sila ni Hey, run to Rex. Pag Ok na sila ulit, relegate Rex. I can remember clearly Nia's question. It sounded rhetorical but it hit a resounding bell in one of the forgotten recesses of my heart.
"I just want to know W. How does it feel that while Rex is texting you and you are texting back, you are with Hey? How does it feel that when we had that dinner at your bar, because Rex did this for you, you rush out to bring Hey to the hospital? How does it feel that when Rex knew, he even volunteered to drive you there in his car?"
Rhetorics rhetorics and dripping, sickeningly pathetic really, and ugh! Puhleeezzzzz! But really, deep down inside, I saw myself asking these same rhetorical questions to some long forgotten significant other/s, but something to this effect.
"How does it make you feel, that while I was becoming half crazy and trying to figure out to know what was going wrong with us, and after trying to turn the world over and working my soul off to make things work between us and try to save what we had, you were giving updates to your new one, how pathetic I was and loony in my attempts, because all the while, you were just finding faults to justify your breaking up with me so you and your new one could start your orchestrated new romance?"
AW GAWD! I was overwhelmed too, by the full force of the friends who each gave their bitter biles and slappy words to W. GAWD! When I dealt with my own heart aches, I never allowed my friends any word to the erring partner. I faced them all, on my own. No support group.
And then, it was my turn. So I started saying my piece.
"Let me try to be as objective as I can be. This may hurt a bit, but since you are asking me, here goes. First of all, let me say that I admire you W for saying sorry, but personally, I feel you have nothing to apologize to me. It is between you and Rex, and I have no stake in that. I am a mere innocent bystander. In the same token, whatever I may say of, and to Rex, being his friend, does not concern you in any way. However, since andito na to, very well then... Rex, this does not exonerate you at all. Never were you right, and never will you be, emotions, hurt and pain notwithstanding. Harsh as it may seem, you had it coming. You knew what you were entering into, and you took the choice with full knowledge of the consequences. Nothing changes the fact that this is wrong from the very start. You knew he was partnered. He never kept that from you. However, the way I see it, I am sorry but I think it is you W, above any one else, who is much much at fault here. See, you were the one with the partner, the one with an obligation, the one with a relationship to protect. It may not be right for Rex to have pursued you, but see, it was you who should have ran faster away. You who should have put distance, kept him at bay. Which brings me to a supposition that, Rex might have not been as crazy as he is about you and crazier still, and deeper still, if there was no return stimulus, prodding, or 'come-on' fro you. Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I see it, you led Rex on, too, especially with a promise of leaving Hey eventually." At this point, Rex answered in W's defense. It crushed my heart! Potah!
"Well, as I see it, this is the deal. If you were to ask me, your sorry for Rex is not enough. Contrition should be coupled with reparation and restitution. (Father ikaw ba yan?) You have to do something. How and what to do, that, I do not know. Then again, it's just me. Or maybe, you should just walk away and not bother Rex anymore." At this point nag hysterical na si Rex.
Kesyong na hurt sya pero di nya alam talaga what needs to be done. Ayaw na nya pero ayaw din nya isarado ang possibility na pwede pa maging sila in the future. Na di nya kayang biglaan, yadda yadda yadda. At this point ang saraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap sarap sabunutan ni Rex at iuntog untog sa rough road with matching facial! Naman kai eh! Salit salitan na ang diskusyon. When I got the chance to speak again I said.
"Wait! Stop! Taympers! Paikot ikot lang tayo eh. Sandali lang. The most important question is, what now? Ano na? Aabutin tayo ng next week nito eh! Ikaw Rex, what do you want ba? Gusto mo makaganti? Gusto mo dedmahin an namin si W forever, para amanos? Gusto mo iwanan na ni W si Hey for you? What? What do you want?"
"Hindi ko alam for now... kais kung ganyan, baka matakot na sya in teh future kasi ganito pala ang nangyayari pag nagkakagulo. Kalaban nya buong barkada... blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda, I still believe in the chance blah blah blah!... simply becasue, I love him... yadda yadda yadda!" Sarap sarap kastiguhin ng lola mo that tym and t the same time awang awa ako sa kanya. However he does not need sympathy.
"Rex, please, that's a far supposition. Kung ano man mangyari, kung magkabalikan man kayo, kahit ayaw namin, may magagawa ba kami? Ikaw yan eh. Kayo yan. It will be between the both of you."
"Eh ikaw W? What? What now?"
Speech ang W. Point is, he cannot leave Hey. He loves Hey, but he also loves Rex. Spell SWAPANG!
And with a tone of finality sabi ni Judge este Luis.
"That settles it! Hindi na pwede. Kahit hindi alam ni Rex ang nararamdaman nya dahil nasasaktan sya at nagmamahal pa din at the same time, buo ang pasya ni W. Wala na. Cannot be. Di nya maiiwanan si Hey. End of discussion. W, panindigan mo yan. Be firm. Ok na ba tayo?" Shet! Kalorkey!
Matapos ang makabugbog damdaming labu-labo, nagkape ako sa kapehan. Napabuntong hininga, ninamnam ang matampait na kape. Buti na lang, ang kape, may asukal pampatamis. Siguro naman, lahat ng kabitteran sa mundo, merong pampatamis no? Nasaan na kaya si Baboy at ang mga naunang mga Baboy at mga Ba-babes (babaeng baboy shempre) na minahal ko before him? Sana miserable sila sa mga buhay buhay nila mga tanginampakincheff nilang lahat! Bitter Ocanmpo koh! I swear! Bitteressa Magbanua ever! Order ng kape ulit, lagok, hithit sa yosi, buga, and smile!
JOKE! Sana mabuhay silang lahat ng pagkatagal tagal. Mahabang mahabang buhay at sobrang tandang tanda... na nag iisa! Nyehehehehe!