Track 11: Bumalik Sa Umpisa

The One I Once Loved
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[ Now Playing: Kathang Isip by Ben and Ben ]

 

 

"Are you sure that you're going to go back to that apartment later? You can stay for as long as you like." 

 

"I've been staying here for a week na, Jen. A little more and it would drive me crazy—no offense, I enjoyed your company naman pero I’d like it if I could go home na.” I said after gathering all of my things that she brought over, putting it all in the same bag after  I cleaned it all up periodically over the past week.

 

“As much as I don’t like you going back there, I know na ipipilit mo pa rin naman. Don’t worry—Lisa and I will accompany you back there, but for now maybe we should go have lunch?” she says, and I nod at that as I grab a jacket na binigay na din sa akin ni Jennie over the course of the week.

 

“Tawagin ko lang si Lisa, tapos alis na tayo.” Jen says, and I nod at that as I temporarily take time to sit down muna upon the edge of the bed, clearly contemplating about what I should do next.

 

I mean, my head is already cool and fine and I can decide properly na unlike the last week where I was certainly filled with my anger, but that does not help at all especially as I don’t even have a single clue as to what to do next.

 

Hindi ko nga sure kung makikita ba kita pag-uwi ko, or I’d arrive back to a house that’s too silent that it’s eerie, coming back to how I left it which meant na hindi ka talaga umuwi in the week that I disappeared from you and that place, but here I am. 

 

Maaabutan ba kita doon? 

 

Or would I stubbornly wait for a person that would never come back? 

 

"Irene? Tara na, nagpareserve na kami sa fave resto mo—" 

 

"Sweet Cravings?" I ask, and immediately Jennie nods and smiles, holding out her hand for me to take. 

 

"Of course. Or… ayaw mo ba dun? Pwede namang sa iba nalang—" 

 

"No," I said, sure about this, "It's okay. I'd never let some petty memories ruin such a good restaurant. Nandun ba si Byul?" 

 

"Oo, as usual. Kasama niya ata si Yongsun or baka day off nun ngayon, I didn't ask eh. I reserved a private booth near the edge para may privacy tayo to eat." she says, and I take her hand as she lightly drags me to the living room kung saan hawak na ulit ni Lisa ang bag ko, ready to take it to their car. 

 

Lisa is the one to drive this time, at naupo lang ako sa likod kasama ang malaki kong bag while the two of them turn on the radio to listen to some music, and I get lost in my own mind while looking at the sceneries, something I’ve done in our dates at times that she’d take me to one.

 

The time away did nothing, because even if I know na Jennie and Lisa are working hard to distract me (and I appreciate the thought of doing so) pero at nights I can’t help but still stay awake and think about what things could have been, choices I could have done because I know that anger is not my strong suit.

 

Siguro, nagpadala ako masyado sa galit ko.

 

I don’t like it when I’m angry, after all, because things like these happen.

 

And somehow I don’t find myself blaming you, but myself. Kasi I felt na nagkulang ako. Kasi I knew na my anger shouldn’t have gone and controlled me right there, causing you to be pushed away and leave, and I knew na this was all my fault.

 

But half of me says damn it all.

 

Half of me wants to stop you from doing that, from invalidating me all the time and pulling off something like this, because I know I don’t deserve to feel something like this from you kasi pinagkakatiwalaan kita higit pa sa buhay ko.

 

And yet knowing is different from doing.

 

“Nandito na tayo,” Jennie says, Lisa quickly finding a suitable parking space for the car pero pinababa na agad niya kami sa entrance ng cafe—it feels bigger than I remember, probably because I haven’t been in here in a very long time.

 

When have I last been here? Matagal na, since I don’t even remember the last time na nagdinner kami dito or even had such a casual eat out with her, but I try to push it out of my mind as I clutched the purse bag I brought with me as a separate bag for my wallet and phone—Jennie holds my hand as we move and enter the establishment.

 

“Are you sure you’re okay? I mean, Byul will understand if we cancel—”

 

“I-I’m okay, Jen. Don’t worry. I’ll go first na dun sa private booth, ha? Magtatanong na lang ako sa staff.” I said, sighing as Jennie nods at me and I get her bag to bring with me para madalian na siyang mag-order ng pagkain namin.

 

Ilang minuto pa akong nagpalakad-lakad bago ko marealize na hindi ko talaga alam kung saan ako pupunta, so I approached one of the staff na naglilinis ng isang mesa dun sa mga reserved private booths para magtanong kung saan ba ako dapat pumunta—

 

“Miss, I’m with Jennie Kim—or Lisa Manoban, if yun yung ginamit na name nila for this reservation—for a lunch reservation today. I wonder if you can point me where our seats would be—”

 

“Joohyun,” she says, and when she takes off the face mask she reveals a face I thought I would never see here—completely catching me unaware and severely unprepared.

 

Seulgi stands before me, in such casual clothes and an apron with the logo stitched upon her left chest, signifying that she was working here—seh looks starkly different, even if it had just been a week na hindi ko siya nakikita.

 

“S-Seulgi,” I said, gritting my teeth as panic settles upon my heart because what do I ing say to her? Ano sasabihin ko sa kanya, when the words I’ve practiced over and over seem to disappear from my mind when she’s already in front of me—

 

“Irene,” Jennie says, her hand immediately going to the flat of my back and gently pushing me forward—I see her shoot a glare to Seulgi’s direction bago niya ako itulak papunta sa direction nung mga booths, but my foot could not even budge another step.

 

“Irene? What are you—”

 

“You…” I said, stuttering and afraid, “Y-You go to the booth muna, Jennie. I… I think I’m going to tell her something first.” 

 

“Are you sure?” she asks, and I nod intently as she lets go of me and walks away after purposefully shoving her shoulder on Seulgi’s shoulder as she walks away—the force almost shoves Seulgi back, but she stayed in place as she dared to stare at me.

 

“Seulgi, I—”

 

 

"Usap tayo?" you say, and dread immediately settles in my system. 

 

No. 

 

Is this what I'm thinking of? 

 

Right after she utters those two words, I can tell upon myself that I’m still not ready. Never in this moment, never will be—hindi ko siya kayang kausapin dito, not when there is a lot of people watching, not when a lot of people can see me cry my heart out like this because I know that I’ll cry.

 

"Seulgi," I say, my voice shaky and afraid, "Pwede bang later nalang?" 

 

I want you to stay a little longer pa, please. 

 

"Hinihintay kasi ako nila Jen for lunch,” is what comes out of my mouth, and oddly enough she takes it as an excuse even if it is a half assed one. 

 

"Okay," You say, quite unconvinced but still agreeing to my tedious terms. "Later, sa bahay, let's talk. Bye, Irene."

 

What? 

 

Irene.

 

Not Mahal. 

 

Not even Joohyun. 

 

Cold and stoic, the stranger Irene. 

 

Sinadya mo ba yun? 

 

Or am I delusional again? 

 

"Okay," is all that I answer, because I fear that if I speak more I'd be falling apart so easily in front of her—she smiles fain

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Comments

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forgotme #1
Chapter 18: Grabe nman mapanakit..
Wala bang part 2 ung continuation 😁✌️
sluggiebearr
#2
Chapter 18: wtf did i just read 😭😭😭😭😭 ang sakit sakit ng puso ko sobra ano to
xantheaverielle
#3
Chapter 18: Sobrang sakit ng fic na 'to. Cried too much from reading this. So beautifully written and so painfully good. Made me realize so much. Thank you for this work, author!
Reveluvteddy #4
Chapter 18: This is really good. Hurt so good 💔
seulsbear
#5
Chapter 5: Ang ganda ng story na 'to! Nasa chapter 4 pa lang ako pero parang may ib-binge read ako ngayon😭

This story deserves more comments and reads! I'm guessing the reason why di gaanong kilala 'tong story na 'to even tho it's so good is because you didn't put a "seulrene" tag on its own sa description. I was only able to find this story through twitter :((
RVSone0105
963 streak #6
Chapter 5: Haist talaga seulrene!! Panindigan niyo rin ang kilig ko sa inyo, galawin niyo na ang barko juseyo 🥺 missed ko na kayo 😭
spagtitty #7
Chapter 18: Thank you so much for this masterpiece, author. I never knew I needed a beautifully written fic in my life. god im so glad dementia runs in my family and because of that i can read this again and again and again and experience catharsis 🧎🏻‍♀️
spagtitty #8
Chapter 14: ṣ̸̛̺̞̯̬̍̏̓̀̅̚̕e̶̘̤̪̟̭̰͑ư̵̳̱̥̙͆͐̌͋̂̈̈̅̍l̵̥̓͐̈́̓̌̃͂̅͝r̶̯͇̪͓͈̭̫̟̉͑͛̏̿̊è̶̛̙̙̭̖̦͐̀̓̐̓̓̇̀ņ̷̖͈̱͍͗́ê̵̬̗̪̫̆́̍͆͛͠f̷͈̹̜̦͍̱̉͐̉̅̈́̃̚͠l̵̫͂͗͆͌̈́̎̃̎͝ủ̶̡̡̻͈̠̤f̵̰̬͎͚͇̯̓̈́̌ͅf̵̡͓̙͕͓̞̳̞̀̍͋̚͜͜͝