3 Chapter 2: Remembering

A great deal of noise broke the innocence upon my face. I grabbed my pillow and covered my entire face with it to cancel out the noise that disturbed my sleep. However, the noise was too much for my pillow so I unwillingly went out of the bed and with my eye half-closed, head for the door. The loud music came from downstairs and as I peeked through the stairs, I saw my sister doing 'zumba' with her neon-colored gym clothes. It was one of those popular exercises that exploded lately and encouraged a lot of old women to exercise. An instructor of some sort was speaking and guiding throughout the exercise while a loud music was playing in the background. My sister's not that old yet and zumba is not really only for old women but for some reason, I have my prejudice about that exercise associating it only with older women.

I returned to my room and peeked through the curtains. The sky was inky-blue, and the road was quiet. I couldn't help but roll my eyes at the absurdity of my sister exercising at this time of hour with that loud speaker. She might as well wake the whole neighborhood up and have them pounding at our door with angry faces.

With no hopes of regaining my sleepy spirit, I went to the shower and soaked myself for quite a long time—long enough for the sun to win over the darkness, basking my room with morning warmth. It's one perk of having one's window directly facing the East. I wore my casual clothes and head downstairs. The loud speaker was now quiet, and the kitchen was filled with mouth-watering scent of food that can only be seen in this dining table once every week.

"Good morning, Ate," I greeted with enough energy for her to hear me. I sat on the chair and feasted on that single delicacy that I only get to eat on Saturdays.

Rebecca, my sister, was the resident cook of this house. Because of her busy schedule as a passionate teacher, she can only cook 'Adobong manok', a family favorite dish, on Saturdays. For the rest of the day, she'll submerge herself to her paperworks and she'll have no time then to cook such time-consuming dish. If you're asking about Sunday, we'll she's allotted it for her dear fiancé, Mike Downhall. Unlike me, my sister was an organized person and has a much capability of effectively managing her time despite the busy person she is.

"Good morning!" she greeted and placed a bowl filled with her deliciously cooked 'Adobong Manok'.

Breakfast was the most important meal of the day; I know that very well, but in my case, it's only important on Saturdays.

"No one knocked the door today?" I asked, hinting about the disturbance she has caused me and probably our neighbors earlier.

"Why? Were you expecting someone?" she asked, her eyes looking like she does not know what I'm talking about at all.

"Nevermind—" and at that same moment, we heard a knock on the door.

We both looked at each other. Her gaze tells me to entertain the knock that I was waiting. I didn't have the enrgy to explain and resist so I sighed in agreement. After sipping some water, I stood up and opened the door. And there stood a beauty to behold, a rare beauty that you'll see at this hour of the day.

"What kind of nightmare has brought you here at this hour?" I asked with just enough sarcasm.

Danica has a record of waking up early...no, more like never really sleeping at all when nightmares called 'boys' bother her.

She snorted and walked past me. "You wouldn't believe me even if I told you," she muttered under her breath and slumped on the couch. I closed the door and followed her.

"Good morning, Dani dear!" my sister greeted her, but it seemed like her ears were closed. Danica was wearing such a depressing face and hopeless eyes. My sister gave me a questioning look, but I only shrugged my shoulders as I also do not know what's going on.

"Try me," I said as I stood right in front of her.

"I just saw the end of the world..."

The seriousness of her voice led me to suppress my laugh. I think I know what this is all about. And like a proper friend, I sat next to her and lend my ears to give some sort of comfort.

"Really. What's it like?"

"Terrible. Terrifying. I don't want to even remember it again," she uttered and hugged her knees in fright of the thought.

"Uh-huh. Why would you think Jericho would leave you?"

That made her snapped and looked at me in utter astonishment.

"Don't you think 10 years of friendship was enough for me to decipher your patterned actions, Danica?"

She disappointedly leaned back on the couch. I can sense that she's about to explode, so before she bawled her eyes out, I brought her to my room. I thought I could get back to my unfinished feast, but this was Danica using her 'bad-timing-ability' so I graciously lost. Good thing my sister understood the circumstances.

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Danica replaced the loud speaker this morning. Her wailing echoed in my room like she had a megaphone attached to her throat. It was until she felt dehydrated that she stopped and finally explained everything that happened to her.

Apparently, her boyfriend Jeremy—

"Jerome was not the type to do that, so I trusted him despite the doubts in my heart," she narrated.

I was stand corrected. So apparently, Jerome, her boyfriend for I don't really know how long went on a family vacation and never contacted her during the duration of his absence. And this girl, Chelsea—

"And Cherry was a hateful b*tch who just couldn't accept the fact that Jerome chose me over her pathetic beauty," she uttered in full disgust, her eyes burning with hatred at the thought of that girl.

Okay, so Cherry, Jerome's loyal suitor, sent a selfie of her and Jerome to Danica and bragged about his family, allowed Chelsea to come and not her. And so, long story short, my dear friend has broken her own heart by assuming that Jerome will leave her for that Chelsea girl.

"Danica, have you realized it's your fault that your hurting right now?" I said frankly.

She looked at me like I just said something stupid. "Nevermind," I sighed and stood up.

***

The next day, I woke up at the ringtone of my phone. I lazily grabbed it from my bedside table and answered the call with eyes still closed. If it was someone else, I would've exploded and scowled over the phone. Good thing it was just Danica inviting me over to her house. At the sound of her voice, I might've guessed already what's going on. It's either she realized her stupidity and celebrated her freedom, or that boyfriend of hers clarified everything that bothered her.

It's past noon already. I expected as much when I stayed too long at my study table last night reading a crime novel. The house was quiet when I stepped out of my room. I checked my sister's bedroom, and she's not there. She might've been to Mike's house, I guess. It confirmed my presumption when I saw a note at the fridge when I took a glass of water.

I locked the door and head for Danica's house that was situated just across the highway. It's impossible to not remember it, for it was the only house in the neighborhood that was big enough to fit a whole gymnasium. It was the mayor's house, after all. It's supposed to be grand and scream millions just by looking at its exterior.

As I crossed the road, the two-storey house painted with pale colors stood out and towered over the cemented fence. I never made it a habit to visit Danica's house as it gives me as much discomfort as sitting between two strangers in the train. I rang the doorbell, and the highly automated gate opened itself as soon as the person over the intercom realized it was me.

I walked over the stone pathway towards their front door and was about to knock when it suddenly opened, leaving my fist hanging in the air. I was taken aback as I saw an awfully familiar face. How foolish could I get by forgetting that he lived here?

"Hi...Is Danica there? She invited me to come..." I found my voice trailing away as I braved his deep stares over me.

I could kill to take away that ability of his, to cause an instantaneous chaos in my heart every time he looks at me.

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