SINULOG SPECIAL CHAPTER PART TWO
"What?! No! I'm helping my dad today." Ethan responded immediately. His father chuckled and shrugged his shoulders.
"Ethan don't want it" the old man said to Center as if telling her couldn't force Ethan. Center pouted and held both the old man's hands.
"Father, please return the favor to me. I really need Ethan today. I'm not used in the city and I need someone to guide me where the streets are leading to. I need Ethan, please?" Center desperately said as the old man watched him with a confused look.
"Boy, you just have to follow the crowd. And even if I lend Ethan to you, I can't force him if he don't want to" the thin old man said.
"So you mean you're letting me borrow Ethan from you?!" Center asked happily as he waited for the old man to aggree. The old man nodded and looked at his pouting son. He could imagine Ethan crying like a baby and saying that he's giving his son away to random strangers.
"Thank you!" Center said happily and grabbed Ethan's hand. He waved goodbye to the old man and dragged Ethan out of the shop. Ethan was holding a huge blue teddy bear on his hand and tried to escape from Center's grip.
"It's not funny" Ethan said angrily as he snatched his hand away from Center. Center looked at Ethan's swollen wrist and scratched the back of his neck.
"I wasn't lying" Center said. Ethan started walking away and didn't wasted time to escape from Center. Center immediately followed Ethan and held the pale boy's hand again.
"I'm going back to the shop" Ethan said angrily. He was thinking that his father might be stressed out from work without him.
"I already sent someone to help him there!" Center said as he tried to catch Ethan's hand but the pale boy never let his guard down.
"So what. I don't want to be with you" Ethan said. Center felt guilty and hurt everytime Ethan treats him coldly. He stopped as he grabbed Ethan's shirt from the back and bowed his head.
"I wasn't lying..." he said in an almost whispered voice "...I might get lost in here, we'll go back to the shop. Just don't leave me behind" Center said seriously which made the angelic side of Ethan came out. Ethan sighed and removed Center's grip from his shirt and held the tall boy's hand.
"Don't go anywhere" Ethan said softly and dragged Center in the middle of the crowd without looking back. Center looked at the small boy's back in front of him. He wanted to hug him in the middle of the crowd. He wanted to whisper in his ears despited the noise the city brought to them. He wanted to say "I'm sorry" until he gets tired of saying it. He wanted to go back to Ethan and let him love the smaller boy.
"I'm not going anywhere away from you anymore, I promise" Center said but Ethan just rolled his eyes.
"Hey Eeth! look at this!" Center shouted as he put the festival hat on his head. He looked like the traditional farmers in the country as he took a picture of himself. Ethan snobbed his eyes and never gave Center any attention. He thought that Center was trying to put a trick on him and he might enjoy spending the festival with him instead of going back to the shop.
"You coming or not?! I'm leaving right now!" Ethan warned Center and the tall guy immediately followed Ethan behind. Center kept pulling Ethan's shirt evertime he sees cute and cool stuffs. He offered to carry the blue bear but Ethan declined. Center saw two guys holding a hair color spray and he wanted to color his hair since most of the people tried it on their hairs. It was already eight in the morning and the weather was hot.
"I want to try it!" Center demanded like a child but Ethan glared at him. Center behaved like a puppy after that. The tall guy kept glancing towards the funny stuffs everywhere, he wanted to try all of them since he was never been on a festival ever since he was a kid.
"Stop acting like an ignorant kid, Cent-" Ethan suddenly remembered the young Center before. Ethan knew that Center had never been in a festival, he knew that Center wasn't able to play like normal children do because he was trained at a very young age. He knew Center never had fun like he did when they were young. He glanced at the lonely puppy behind him who seemed to be fascinated by the Henna on the guy's neck at the street. Center was curious and wanted to try putting henna on his skin. A henna is a reddish-brown dye used to color your hair or skin. It could also be used as a temporary tattoo. Ethan felt guilty and poked Center on the waist as the puppy averted his eyes and looked at Ethan. His eyes panicked when he saw Ethan staring at him so he looked away and smiled shyly. Center tried to distract himself with the displays everywhere but he could still sense Ethan looking at him.
"You wanna try that thing?" Ethan asked Center and pointed the large tarpaulin written with 'HENNA' on it. Center smiled bitterly and shook his head.
"I think it will take a long time, there are many people waiting for the artist... We better go ba-"
"I said, do you wanna try it?" Ethan asked as if he was angry. Center bit his upper lip and nodded smoothly with a bubbly face.
"But you're going to leave me if I go there and-" Ethan didn't let Center finish what the big puppy wanted to say and dragged him towards the Henna artist. He remembered what Center told him when they were kids, how lonely he was and how grateful he was towards Ethan. Ethan cleared his throat and pushed Center towards the other customers.
"Fine. I'll be your tour guide for now" Ethan said and averted his eyes to the crowd passing by. Center looked at Ethan with a smile on his face. His heart was pounding louder than the tambourines in the streets. He felt like he was the happiest person on the festival. He tried to hide his smile everytime Ethan looked at him with a poker face but he couldn't help it. He was way too happy that he didn't mind Ethan glaring at him. He removed his Sinulog hat and put it on Ethan's head and smiled. Ethan frowned and was about to remove the hat but Centered stopped it by placing his hand above Ethan's head.
"The sun is getting hot. You should at least protect your beautiful face, Eeth" Center said and smiled at Ethan. Ethan glared at Center and bowed his head.
"Just make it quick so we can go!" Ethan said while hiding his face below the hat.
Too bad, Center didn't saw Ethan trying to hide his blushing face and smile under that hat. He wasn't sure whether it was the heat or his face really felt burning.
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