The B Code
After yesterday, everything was never the same again. Paulene, who used to be lively, became so quiet and distant. After the news of Belle's death, many parents of the students in Liberty High started withdrawing their child's slots; and me, I avoided Chaos for the sake of my family's safety.
Lumingon ako. It was Chaos. Mas binilisan ko ang paglalakad ko para hindi niya ako mahabol hanggang sa biglang may humawak sa kamay ko. "Chaos.." I uttered.
"You're avoiding me." Chaos stated.
"I'm sorry, I have to." Sambit ko at inalis ang braso ko sa pagkakahawak niya.
"Stop avoiding me, Friday. I thought you're gonna help me?"
"I was but I received a note from that so called beast and told me that he'll come after the people I love If I don't avoid you." Naiiyak na sabi ko.
"And that stopped you from helping me out?"
"Chaos, everything is not about you. I can't think of you and your family everytime! I have to think of my family too."
"But you promised.."
"And I am breaking that promise." I said.
"Shut it, Chaos. I thought I was gonna have a peaceful life here in Laguna. But ever since I met you, nagulo lahat. My father was accused of murder, Rea was kidnapped, and now Belle was murdered!"
"You promised me..." Chaos uttered.
"I know at kaakibat ng pangakong iyon ay ang kaligtasan ng pamilya ko."
I continued, "there might be someone out there willing to help you. I love my family as much as you love yours that's why I won't take any risks."
"I'm sorry." Chaos said with his head hanging low.
I ignored him then left. Pumunta ako sa dorm ko. The police already cleaned up the whole place. I opened the door thinking that Paulene was there only to find Effie sitting on the couch, eating popcorn while watching tv. Kailan pa kami nagkatv sa dorm?
Pinunasan ko ang luha ko. "Effie.." tawag ko.
Lumingon siya sa akin at ngumiti nang bahagya. "Hi, Friday." Aniya at tumayo.
Lumapit siya sa akin at nilahad ang kamay. "I think I never introduced myself properly to you," she continued, "my name is Edelaiza Felyne Farina Isabel Elizabeth Cruz. Effie for short." She smiled.
Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. "Ang haba ng pangalan mo." Puna ko at tinanggap ang nakalahad niyang kamay.
Ngumiwi si Effie. "Yup. Yung mom ko kasi. She wanted to have lots of babies pero she can't get pregnant then all of a sudden, she got pregnant with me so ang pinangalan niya sa akin ay ang mga pangalan na gusto niya sa mga anak niya. Para isahan na, diba?" She explained.
I chuckled. I imagine Effie having a hard time writing her name as a toddler.
"Nice to meet you, Effie. I'm Friday Cortez." Pakilala ko.
Kumunot ang noo ko nang may mapansin. "By the way. Where's Paulene?"
"Oh, after what happened with your dorm mate, Paulene's parents removed her here in Liberty High. Hindi na raw safe dito eh." Effie shrugged.
What? Sayang naman. Paulene had been my friend for weeks. Hindi man lang nagtagal ang pagkakaibigan namin.
"And you are here because?"
Effie smiled widely, "I'm your new roommate!"
Tumaas ang kilay ko. "After what happened here in our dorm, balak mo pa talagang lumipat?"
Tumango si Effie. "Don't worry. My father is a police captain. I asked him to order his fellow police to secure our dormitory." Paliwanag niya.
She continued, "and I want to help you investigate the sender of the notes."
I sighed. "Look, if you want to investigate, help Chaos. Not me. The one who sent the notes is after Chaos."
Kumunot ang noo ni Effie. "I thought you're with Chaos? That's why I want to help. You received a note too, right?"
"What? How did you know?"
May kinuha si Effie sa bulsa at pinakita sa akin yun. "I received one too."
I stared at the words written on the letter. It states the same words on the note I recieved from Rea Dizon.
"And you still choose to help Chaos? Effie, the people you love are in danger. It means, your family might be the beast's next target."
Effie shrugged. "I have helped Chaos before I received a note. What's there to stop me from helping him again?" She continued, "it's a risk that I have to take but what if that risk is actually worth it in the end? What if we took down this killer, bring justice to those he killed including Chaos's family?"
"You know about that too?" I asked pertaining about Chaos's family.
Effie smiled inwardly. "I took some research about Chaos. All credits to Matix."
"You're not scared that the beast might come after your family?"
"I am scared. Really scared knowing that I am the only one that my parents have and I know that Chaos could bring disaster or death to my family; but sometimes in life, we have to help people even if they can't help us back." Effie answered.
I breathed heavily. Now, I am having second thoughts of whether I should help Chaos or not.
Effie held my hand. "Chaos has been constantly asking for your help. You turned him down yet he still asked. Maybe Chaos has his reason and that reason might be because he can see that you can be the only one who can help him."
"The beast killed Belle, kidnapped Rea and got away with it."
"With us working together? this time, he won't get away with it." Effie smiled.
I smiled back, "thank you, for cheering me up."
Effie shrugged, "so, you'll help Chaos?"
I nodded. "Yup. If something happens to the people I love, I won't grieve or go weak. I'll fight." I grinned.
Ginulo ni Effie ang buhok ko. "That's more like it."
Tumunog ang phone ko. It was an unkown caller. I furrowed my eyebrows while answering the call.
"Hello? Who's this?"
"Friday, it's me."
Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. "Daeril? How did you get my number?"
"From Monday, your sister."
I frowned, "naguusap kayo ng kapatid ko."
There was silence for seconds until Daeril spoke again. "Anyways, I called because something happened."
"What happened?" I asked.
"Chaos got into an accident. He was walking to Liberty High when a car ran him over. Unfortunately, he's still alive."
"Are you in the hospital right now?" Nag-aalalang sabi ko.
"What hospital?" I asked. When Daeril gave me the name of the hospital, mabilis akong lumabas ng dorm at nasa likod ko lang si Effie. I called Mang Danny to drive us to the hospital that Daeril told me.
"He was ran over?" Effie asked while we're at the car.
Tumango ako. "Yun ang sabi ni Daeril. He said Chaos is still alive but I'm sure there are casualties."
Tumango si Effie. "I am going to call my dad to investigate what happened." Aniya at nilabas ang phone at tinawag ang ama.
When we reached the hospital, tumakbo ako patungong information's desk at tinanong kung nasaan ang room ni Chaos.
Nang sabihin sa akin ang room number, tinakbo ko ang distansiya. Is it my fault that Chaos got into this? Did the beast planned this? Or all of this are just an accident?
"Friday." Daeril called. He was outside Chaos's room.
"Daeril.." hinihingal na sambit ko. Effie stood by my side.
"What happened?" I asked.
"Chaos was ran over by a car, like what the witness said who is also a student from liberty high. He's safe and alive but there are problems. He had three broken ribs, fractured legs and right arm." Daeril explained.
"He's ran over by a car and still alive? Wow.." Effie uttered with awe written on her face.
Daeril answered, "I know, unfortunate, isn't it?"
Napailing nalang ako. "Nakita na ba ang sasakyan na bumangga sakaniya?"
Umiling si Daeril. "It was a hit and run. The car moved so fast that the witness didn't see the plate number."
I sighed. "Is he awake?"
Tumango si Daeril at sinenyasan kami na pumasok sa loob. Effie told me to come in first at magusap kaming dalawa. Hinayaan ko nalang siya. I needed to talk to Chaos anyways.
"Hi." I called. Chaos took a glance at me pero binalik ang tingin sa bintana.
"Are you mad?" Tanong ko.
"Nagtatampo ka?" Nanunudyong tanong ko.
Wala pa ring imik.
I sighed and stood beside his bed. "Chaos.."
"Do you see me as a failure?" Biglang tanong nito habang hindi inaalis ang tingin sa bintana.
I furrowed my eyebrows at marahas na umiling. "No."
This time, he looked at me. May mga pasa ito sa mukha. "Good, because I don't want you to see me the way I see myself."
"Why would you see yourself as a failure?"
"Because I can't bring justice to my family and to those students and teachers he killed ten years ago," he continued, "I even asked for your help which only makes me weak—"
"Hey, asking for help doesn't make you weak. You actually did the right thing to ask me for help because it is a way for me to know that you are suffering. It actually made you wise." I smiled.
"Really?" Hopefulness is in his voice.
I nodded. "What happened to your family is not your failure. It means you're strong because despite what happened, you remained brave and wise."
I breathed heavily. "Look, Chaos, I'm sorry for avoiding you. I became selfish. Gusto ko lang naman kasi ay maging ligtas sila."
Chaos spoke, "I had no motivation in saving myself nor my family. That's why I asked for yours. You were willing to prove that your father is innocent despite your parents' separation. I wanted to be that motivated. You are my inspiration, Friday. That's why you, promising me that you'll help me meant a lot to me; and it also broke me a lot when you broke that promise."
He continued, "you're right. I bring disasters. I'm not a person anymore. I am a magnet to problems and chaos. I am useless." He hang his head low.
Napailing ako. "There is no such thing as being useless. You shine on your own. You stand out on your own. You become yourself on your own ways. You become useful in many ways."
"What happened to you? Why suddenly go soft and help me?"
I softly chuckled. "A wise friend helped me realized some things."
"Who's this friend?" He asked.
"Effie. I'm sure you remember her."
I rolled my eyes. "Effie. The theater director we helped to find Rea Dizon."
Realization drawn in his face. "Oh, her. She's wise and pretty."
Tumaas ang mga kilay ko. "You like her?"
Chaos shrugged, "her brown golden eyes and wavy hair struck me."
"Chaos Salazar, Liberty High's number one snobber, likes someone?"
Chaos frowned. "Yes, I like someone but not her."
I laughed. Ayaw siguro sabihin sa akin ni Chaos baka kasi asarin ko siya.
Kapagkuwan ay nilibot ko ang tingin sa buong hospital. "Who's paying your hospital bills?" I randomly asked.
"Daeril." Saad ni Chaos nang may ngiwi sa labi.
"Bakit diring-diri ka? You should be thankful that he helped you."
Chaos closed his eyes and rested his back on the bed. "I hate him."
"Why? Ano ba pinag-awayan niyo at ayaw niyo sa isa't isa?"
Chaos shook his head. "Stop talking and don't ask questions about what happened. It's reminding me of that traumatic event."
I laughed. Really? Traumatic? Ganun kalala ang away nila?
"And by the way, how did you know that my parents were separated?" I asked.
"Your sisters and I had a small talk." Chaos answered.
I rolled my eyes then saw a marker on his bed then looked at his casted arm. "May I?" I asked if I can write on his casted arm.
"Do whatever you need to do." He said then closed his eyes na parang matutulog na. I wrote a very small note na sana ay hindi niya makita. It is something that I like to say to him but I can't say it personally. Nakakahiya.
Binalik ko ang marker sa bed nang may mahagilap ang mga mata ko.
It's a small note na nakaipit sa higaan and I knew what it means.
I opened it:
No one can catch me. I can make myself look innocent in one word. I am more powerful as you think. Get well soon, Chaos. I am just starting.
- The Beast
Mabilis kong niyugyog si Chaos at ginising. "What?!" He snapped.
"Look," pinakita ko sakaniya ang note na kaagad niyang binasa, "looks like the beast had been here in this room." Sabi ko.
I like emotional scenes. It makes me realize things..:(
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