SINULOG SPECIAL CHAPTER PART ONE
A festive morning enveloped the whole city as the citizens celebrated the annual festival. The streets were filled with delicacies and sweets. Smiling vendors and tourists were gathering around and everywhere. It was 6am in the morning and Center was still sleeping in his room.
"Center! wake up!" Center's uncle knocked loudly on the door and he started kicking it. Center rolled to his side and covered his face with one of the pillows on the bed as he murmured, "Shut up old man!"
"What?! you're telling your mother's brother to shut up?! Hey get out now!" Charles shouted like a kid. He suddenly remembered he had a spare key to Center's room. He opened the door with the spare key he caught from his pocket and yelled, "Wakeeee uppp Center! It's time to attend the parade!!"
Center threw his pillow towards Charles's face without hesitating. The pillow hit Charles in the nose which made the uncle mad. He directly dived at Center who was steadily lying on his bed with his bare back facing the ceilings.
"How dare you treat me like that?!" Charles said. He choked Center from the back using his solid and muscular arm while the other pinning Center's hand on his back. Center felt like he was being molested by his uncle. He made fake coughing sounds but that didn't buy Charles.
"Why do I have to get up this early?" Center mumbled as he kept spinning the keyholder on his middle finger. He waited for Charles to get out of the house and threw the key to his uncle's face. Charles caught the key and opened the door in his car. As the two prepared to head towards the main road in the city, they started acting like buddies. Charles was only 30 and he was still single. He didn't look old and in fact he was often mistaken as a teenager because of his young face.
The parade went on and Center seemed to recognize the place, the streets and the stores. It was where the old man's teddy shop was located. Center looked around and spotted the old man across the street wiping the glass walls outside his shop.
"Open the door" Center ordered Charles like his uncle was some kind of a kid.
Charles raised a brow and looked at Center badly.
"Am I your nephew now huh?" Charles asked Center with full of sarcasm. Center rolled his eyes and pleaded to just unlock the door for him. Charles finally unlocked the door and Center immediately went across the streets. He put on his mask first and greeted the busy old man.
"Hey Mr. Goodman! You look busy!" Center said. He smiled underneath his mask as he saw the busy old man wiping the glass. The man didn't glance at Center and just nodded.
"What brings you here, young man?" the old man asked and finally gave Center his attention. The loud streets made the festival even more joyful and fruitful.
"Ahh just passing by" Center answered. The old man offered Center to come inside the shop and asked if the young man wanted to buy some stuffs located on the souvenir shelves.
"Still alone?" the old man asked as Center removed his mask and stared at the boy who looked like a celebrity.
"Dad, I think we need to hang these outside the shop to attract more-... Center?" Ethan came inside the shop and saw Center. The old man looked at the two young man in front of him and coughed awkwardly. Center rubbed the back of his neck and smiled at Ethan who didn't seem to be pleased with his presence.
"So you two know each other?" Ethan's father asked. Ethan shrugged his shoulders as he went back outside the shop to hang the dream catchers in his hands. Center smiled at Ethan's father and asked if he could follow Ethan, the old man just nodded.
"Hey, can we talk?" Center said as he held Ethan's hand.
"Not now. Not ever. Please stop ruining my day" Ethan said and hanged the dream catcher on the nail near the post. Center followed him inside the shop. They went in the storage area where the other festive products were located. Ethan just ignored Center.
"Ethan, please listen to me" Center pleaded as he held Ethan's arm but Ethan just swept his hand away. Ethan was good to anyone but Center. What Center did in the past was too painful for him. Ethan acted like nothing happen in front of his father all those times. But when Ethan's mother died, he became numb. He didn't care about Center anymore and he was no longer the happy Ethan that Center knew. He couldn't be happy like he used to be. The fact that Center just pushed him away and the fact that his mother died two weeks after Center shoved him, it gave Ethan depression.
As of now, he just wanted to enjoy his life with his father and forget about Center.
"Ethan, I'm sorry" Center said with a sad face.
"You're forgiven" Ethan said plainly without looking at Center. Center's chest hurt like hell. Ethan used to smile at him everyday, now he don't and it was because of him.
"I won't stop chasing you, until you forgive me" Center said with a sad face. Ethan felt annoyed and said something that hurt Center so bad.
"I told you I forgive you. Please stop coming after me. You once treated me like a stranger. Would it be fair if I don't treat you the way you treated me before?" Ethan asked with a watery pair of eyes.
"Center please...the pain you gave me was too much. You already left a scar in my heart. Please stop reopening it again." Ethan pleaded. Ethan started sobbing and Center never hesitated to wrap his arms around the lonely boy.
"Ethan please, give me a chance" Center begged as Ethan tried to push Center hardly away from him.
"Let me go. My father will see us. I don't want to disappoint him" Ethan ordered and that made Center removed his arms away from Ethan.
"I hate you." Ethan stated as he looked directly into Center's eyes, and he meant it. When his mother died he realized something.
"The ones who left because they died should be forgiven. But the ones who left me with no reason don't have the right to come back" Ethan said with a burning heart. Center clenched his teeth and a tear escaped from his eye. He regretted everything.
"Please leave. Don't ever look back and find me. Stop hurting me, please." Ethan said and wiped his tears away.
"What took you so long, boys?" Ethan's father came with an innocent look. Center immediately wiped his tears and bowed his head to hide his eyes. He looked at Ethan who was constantly smiling towards his father. It hurt Center to see Ethan like that.
"Hey Mr. Goodman! I just remembered you owe me a favor! Could you lend me Ethan for this day?" Center asked with a smiling face that the old man couldn't resist.
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