Sometimes it’s hard to choose. Do you stay or do you let go? Should you become friends, more than friends, or stay strangers? Would you risk love for popularity? You’re invited to explore these stories and find out each character’s choice from the heart.
Until the Race is Over by Lyka Caparos
“When I see her, I always feel na gusto ko siyang kausapin. I want to keep her nearer and nearer to my world. It breaks my heart whenever I saw her talking to someone else. Na parang naka move on na siya in just two damn months.” He said laughing though I know he’s deeply hurt, then continued, “She doesn’t realize how hurt I was. She doesn’t even care about me anymore. Ang daling kalimutan para sa kanya ang mga pinagdaanan namin. But for me, it hurts like hell.” Napayuko ako ng hindi niya makita ang reaksyon ko sa sinabi niya. Tama nga Traecy, gumising ka sa katotohanan.
Gusto ko siyang samahan kahit ngayong araw lang. Gusto kong pasayahin siya kahit para sa kanya corny. Gusto kong kahit ngayong araw lang, makalimutan niya ang sakit na nararamdamn niya sa babaeng ‘yon. Sa maswerteng babaeng si Lianne na hindi man lang na appreciate ang lalakeng tunay na nagmamahal sa kanya.
“Mahirap ang makamove on. Mahirap ang makalimot. Mahirap ang magbigay ng payo lalo na kung wala ka naman sa lugar. Pero gusto ko lang sanang sabihin sayo na… libre ang maging masaya Rico. It really takes a lot of time para makalimot, and it takes a lot of courage to stand up for yourself and to love yourself this time. Alam kong… hindi ako ang tamang taong magbigay sayo ng advice para sa ganyang bagay pero sana makatulong ako. Sana kahit hindi mo ako ganoon ka kilala, sana maalala mo man lang ang mga sinabi ko…”
“Looks like you’re good at advising ha. Sige nga, can you give me your final blow?”
I smiled and cleared my throat before saying anything. “If you’ve given a great love to someone before and that person never gave it back to you… someone will.”
In That Summer by Jayen San Diego
“Ordinary? Are you really that blind, Sean?” Red asked.
Sean self-consciously adjusted his eyeglasses and added, “Well, she’s not that stunningly pretty. I even doubt if she still looks cute without her makeup on. She’s only here because she’s the chairman’s daughter.”
Red did not say anything, and Sean already knew that it was the end of their conversation.
“Are you done with the supplies?”
Sean was startled when he heard Jaine’s voice come from behind Red. He glanced at Red, who looked equally surprised by her presence.
Did Jaine hear what I said? Sean wanted to ask.
When neither of the guys answered her, Jaine added, “There are still a few boxes in the stock room. And Miss Darson said you should hurry up.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Red responded.
He gave Jaine a playful salute and his infamous smile. Other girls would have swooned at this. Sean noted that Jaine wasn’t even slightly affected. Maybe Sean was wrong. Maybe Jaine wasn’t like every other girl.
Red left, enthusiastically roping other basketball team members into helping him on his way to the stock room. Sean turned his attention back to his task. He expected Jaine to leave, having accomplished her task. But she stayed and stared at him.
He wanted to ignore her, but he was surprised to find he felt self-conscious. He then reasoned to himself that it was just because he wasn’t use to working with someone watching him.
“Do you need anything else?” he asked without looking up from his checklist of supplies.
He waited, but Jaine just continued to stare. Irritated, he finally stopped working and gave her the attention she wanted.
“Do you need anything else, Miss Jaine Enriquez?” he asked again, giving emphasis to his formal way of addressing her.
To his bemusement, Jaine smiled. Her whole face brightened up when she did. And Sean was reminded of this season, of summer. He knew she wasn’t ordinary. But Sean would never admit he’d been wrong.
On The Outside Looking In by Claire Du
“Come on! We need those points! Run for it!” someone shouted from the benches. I knew that was Ezra’s ever-supportive dad who cheered for him at every game. I’ve been to all of them, too.
“Duck!” another spectator shouted.
My eyes followed Ezra, and I saw that he was running toward me. He was looking right at me! I wondered why.
A football hit me in the face, blocking me from seeing the love of my life.
“Oww! That hurts!” So that was how people in Tube’s Funniest Videos felt. It wasn’t funny at all.
I held my face in my hands. It hurt so much that I thought my head cracked and I’d feel blood trickling on my arms. The football was there, lying innocently next to my feet.
“Hey, can you throw the ball back?”
Oh my freakin’ ball of fire. That was HIS voice. I composed myself and slowly raised my eyes. Unconsciously, I batted my eyelashes, so he could see how long they were. His hair was ruffled, his forehead glistened with sweat, and he had these lines between his eyebrows as a result of him frowning. But that face, with the thick brows, piercing brown eyes, and those lips that looked better when he smiled—that was the face I couldn’t seem to get tired of staring at.
“Here you go. And don’t worry, it’s totally okay. These things happen to people,” I mumbled.
I couldn’t stop from smiling widely even though I knew I had a big, red splotch on my forehead. Add to that my uncombed hair and the tears that were about to fall due to pain, and you have a good idea how pretty I felt right at that moment. Not.
What About Today by Dawn Lanuza
Gemma glanced at her watch and remembered that she was supposed to catch the bus heading back home at 7 in the evening. It’s already 5. Did she really spend a lot of time staring at The Big Red Dragon earlier? Or did she take too much time at the gift shop to buy nothing?
She started feeling like two hours wouldn’t be enough to complete everything. Could she maybe extend? Then again, how would leaving play out exactly?
“Alright, I need to go” isn’t going to cut it. She and Aiden already had moments. Now they’re in this limbo between being strangers and friends. They weren’t exactly strangers, but they weren’t friends just yet.
Plus they’re in an amusement park. They just met. Did it count for something?
She wished this could be more of a train incident where people smiled at each other when one offered a seat and that’s the end of that. They all get off their stops.
And if she and Aiden were ever going to be friends, in the real sense of the word after today, how’s that going to work? They’re going to stay in touch by texting? Chatting online? It all seemed superficial. It was not like meeting someone in school; she’s required to see that person almost everyday, which made being friends with someone almost compulsory. But meetings like these…what did one do with them?
File them to chance encounters.
Gemma betted that if they lived in a different time, this is the kind of thing that would produce a pile of letters, mailed back and forth within long intervals. It could take days, weeks, and months even. But people were cool back then. Now, relationships could completely end over a person forgetting to text or call overnight.
She didn’t want that.
Waiting for Whatever by Fay Sebastian
I’m not a big fan of waiting. Ayoko sa mga taong laging late, sa mga mahahabang pila, sa kahit anong delayed—flights, release dates, pag-ibig…
Ayoko sa delayed na pag-ibig, pero naghihintay pa rin ako. At maghihintay pa rin ako. Kahit gaano pa katagal, hihintayin ko siya. Si TL, si The One, si soulmate, si ano, whatever you’d like to call him. Basta kung sino man siya, kung sino man ang inilaan para sa’kin, hihintayin ko siya.
At dahil nga ayokong naghihintay sa kahit anong bagay, ayoko ring nagpapahintay. Nasa airport ako, naghihintay sa pagbubukas ng check-in counters. Maaga kasi akong nakarating, maaga pa sa maaga. I came here early because I’m extremely excited for my flight and because if there’s one flight I can’t miss, it’s this one.
I don’t want to be late for Paris.
Tita Mel gave me a roundtrip ticket to Paris as a gift for my 18th birthday. I’ll stay in the city of love for two weeks. Part of me wants to believe I’ll meet him there. Maybe while staring at the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, someone would say hi and poof. Let the magic begin.
Nagdala ako ng babasahin kung sakaling matagal-tagal pa ang hihintayin ko. Dinala ko yung novels sa reading list ko, pero nasa maleta lahat yun. Isa lang ang iniwan ko sa shoulder bag ko. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen—may nagsabi sa’kin na ‘di raw ‘to nakakasawang basahin nang paulit-ulit. We’ll see if that’s true. Let’s put this book to the test.
There’s a vacant seat between two boys near the check-in area. I wanted to take a seat and start reading the book, but when I saw who the two boys were, something inside me made me think twice.
Barely Even Friends by Kristel S. Villar
“Someone’s coming!” he announced, walking towards me in panic.
I quickly stuffed the paper inside my pocket and closed the drawer in haste. I watched Noah scan the room to look for a place to hide, and tugged me on my elbow when he saw a door at the corner of the room. He pushed me roughly inside just in time the front door opened.
We were in a dark and tiny broom closet. The air stank of floor wax, dust, and wood, making my nose itch. I reached up to rub my nose, but my elbow caught one of the shelves and it made a soft clatter. Noah seized my arm and cupped my mouth with his other hand, hushing me to keep me still.
“Hello?” the female voice asked. I recognized it as one of our substitute teachers, but I couldn’t remember her name.
We stood there for God knows how long as we listened to the shuffling of papers. I felt Noah’s chest rise and fall, and his hot breath on my forehead. I felt the way my small frame measured to his lean build, and the warmth of his hand holding my arm. I closed my eyes, feeling the skin of his palm on my lips and inhaling the scent of his cologne amidst the stench of the closet.
Stop it, Emily, I scolded myself.
The room fell silent a few minutes later. I pulled his hand away from my mouth and leaned over the door to get a better hearing but Noah pulled me back in his arms, perhaps afraid that I would make another noise.
“Do you think she’s gone?” I hissed at him.
“I dunno. I haven’t heard the door open yet. Keep still,” he whispered back.