“Rina, nasa US si Win?” Irene asked soon as she got home from RJ’s house. It kind of became a routine to them—hanging out at RJ’s house.
When she sat down with her Ate by the kitchen counter, she nodded.
It was school break and Winter had to stay sa US for like a month or two. It was the second time na bumalik sa US si Winter after niya umuwi dito sa Pilipinas. RJ never said the reason.
Rina had thought that Winter liked it much better there kaya panay ang balik nito sa US. She wondered then if there will be a time when Winter will leave the country again for good.
It could happen. She’s just worried about RJ since it seemed like sobrang attached na siya sa pinsan niya. Sobrang protective nito kay Winter at sobra rin mag-alala.
“Oh… I guess she’s visiting her parents,” sambit ni Irene. Napakunot naman ang noo ni Rina. Hindi niya alam na nasa ganoong level ng closeness na si Winter at ang kapatid niya.
It’s even weirder because Irene’s out of school now and they spent like a year while Rina…
She didn’t even want to think about it.
“Yeah, that’s what RJ said.” Sabi niya lang. Rina knew what happened. RJ already told them about it. Rina felt sorry for Winter and wanted to talk to her, maybe console her the first time she knew about it, but then she felt that she might weird Winter out.
The thing was, Winter had been out of her mind the whole year. Hindi na siya curious. Hindi na siya nalilito. Rina learned how to co-exist with Winter without thinking too much. Nasanay na siya sa ugali ng kaklase at tanggap na niya na they wouldn’t be really close.
It’s fine for her. She was only intrigued. Hindi na rin naman niya kasama sa classes si Winter. She only sees Winter once, twice a week and tuwing lunch or during their break in between their classes lang.
Sometimes, sa hallway. Madalas sa library ng kanilang school niya nakikita si Winter.
Rina also felt pathetic at some point—for wanting to be close to someone who didn’t want to do anything with her.
Rina had also been busy with school and… other people. She had been going out a lot, meeting new people, and hanging out with them. Rina decided she wanted to enjoy being in college, try everything…
And she did.
Rina’s currently seeing—
“So, kamusta kayo ng boylet mo?” Putol ni Irene sa iniisip niya. She winced at the term. Hindi niya alam kung saan nakukuha ng Ate niya ang mga ganito.
Rina only rolled her eyes. Ayaw niya sumagot.
“Bakit kasi hindi mo pa dalhin dito sa bahay?” Tanong ulit ng kapatid.
“What, so you can tell him my most embarrassing stories?” Sumimangot siya.
“I told Win those stories,” Irene shrugged. Nanlaki naman ang mga mata ni Rina.
“What?” Tanong ni Irene na parang si Rina pa ang may kasalanan.
“Bakit mo naman sasabihin kay Win?” Naiinis niyang tanong. Na-tetempt siyang batuhin ng cereals ang Ate niya. Kumakain kasi ito, at katabi niya lang ang kahon ng cereals.
“Winter was only responsive kapag ikaw ang kinukuwento ko.”
Napatigil siya. Maya-maya ay sumimangot siya. Ayaw niya