The Truth Beneath the Lies
FRIDAY POINT OF VIEW
We are all silent. No one dares to talk or speak. I felt betrayed and at the same time, confused.
Daeril is not the beast.
Then who? Siya lang ang lead namin. Other than him, wala na. We have strong evidence against him.
"M-Maybe pinapaikot mo lang kami. You are trying to play victim para makawala sa amin so you can continue playing you little games." Ani Effie.
Daeril shook his head. "You asked for answers. I gave it to you. Ayoko nang magpanggap." He heaved a deep sigh. He then continued, "after this, he will be coming after me. I'm sure of that." Anito.
"Linawin mo naman ang mga sinasabi mo! He will come after you? Who? The beast?" Sambit ko.
Daeril nodded at huminga nang malalim bago nagsalita ulit. "If I tell you the truth, hindi naman kayo maniniwala." Saad nito.
"Tell us at iisipin namin kung paniniwalaan ko ba o hindi." Ani Matix.
"I am not the beast. I don't know who." He pointed out.
"What do you mean? Hindi ikaw ang beast?!" Galit na tanong ni Chaos. His face is turning red because of anger. Akmang susugurin na niya ng suntok si Daeril pero piniglan namin siya. Hindi namin hangad ang may masaktan. We just want answers.
"I received an envelop with a couple of documents in it and a small note." Daeril explained.
"When?!" I asked.
Daeril looked at me. "Since the day Hazel died." Tumungo siya.
Chaos spoke, "So hindi ikaw ang tumulak kay Hazel?"
Umiling si Daeril. "You already solved the case, right? Wala akong kinalaman sa pagkamatay ni Hazel."
I was taken aback. "Pero, sabi mo ay ikaw ang nagtulak kay Hazel." Puna ko.
Daeril nodded. "I was lying. I did not kill Hazel."
Chaos spoke, "were you the one who put the note at the rooftop when Hazel died?"
Umiling si Daeril. "No. I also got the same note with documents."
"Anong documents?" Effie asked.
Daeril looked at us. "The documents states that he is my father and he told me that if I want to meet him, I should follow his orders."
Nanlaki ang mga mata namin. Shocked? Definitely. Daeril's father is the beast?
I gulped. "W-Were you the one who killed Belle? My late dormmate?"
Daeril looked at me with pleading eyes. "I did. I'm sorry, Friday. The beast told me to do it to scare you off. Para umalis ka na ng Liberty High. Para hindi ka madamay sa larong sisimulan niya kay Chaos."
I gaped and looked at the man in front of me, pleading to forgive him. "Daeril, I understand that you want me out of the picture pero ang pumatay ng inosenteng buhay? That was unreasonable!" I shouted.
Nanginginig na dinuro ko siya. "Ikaw ba ang nangkidnap sa akin?"
Daeril nodded. "Friday, I'm telling you, hindi ko ginusto yun! I even stopped those maniacs to touch you at nilabas kita sa cabin para madali kang mahanap ni Chaos. I saved you, Friday. When you were in vacation in Bagiuo, nakatanggap kayo ng note na huwag pumasok ng cabin. It was from me dahil ayokong mapahamak kayo sa plano ng beast."
"But you were the one who gave me that traumatic memory! Dahil sayo, habang buhay na yun nakatatak sa utak ko." I wiped my tears who won't stop falling.
"Ikaw din ba ang nangkidnap kay Effie?" Matix asked.
Tumango si Daeril. Tinignan ko si Effie.
Akala ko ay magagalit siya pero inisa niya ang hakbang para punasan ang luha ni Daeril. "When I was kidnapped, natakot ako. Lalo na nung nasa harap ko na ang beast; but for a beast, he's too soft. The words he whispered," humarap sa amin si Effie, "he told me to follow my heart when he made me choose to either save my family and betray you, or save you but my family will be in danger."
"Ang dali mong magpatawad, Effie." Ani Chaos at matalim na tinignan si Daeril, "I am nothing like Effie. Handa akong lumaban para makulong ka."
Lumapit si Effie sa akin. "Why be nice to him? Effie, dahil sa kaniya, nagulo ang buhay natin."
Effie smiled sweetly. "Daeril is your friend. Dati, ang bait mo sa kaniya. What changed? Hindi naman pala siya ang beast kaya hindi dapat sa kaniya binubuntong ang galit natin." Anito.
I heaved a deep sigh at hindi nalang nagsalita. Effie is very optimistic and forgiving. She was the one who made me realize that Chaos is a friend and that I should help him. Sobrang bait niya at naiintindihan ko kung bakit napatawad agad niya si Daeril.
I faced Daeril. "Was your father the one responsible for what happened to your face?" Mahinahong tanong ko.
Daeril nodded. "He punished me for letting you be saved by Chaos." Mahinang sambit nito.
"Please, give us a name, Daeril. We need to know who this beast is." Pakiusap ko.
"I don't know him. Kahit doon sa document na binigay niya, walang pangalan. Hindi ko nakikita ang mukha niya." Sagot ni Daeril.
Huminga ako nang malalim. Paano na 'to? Paano namin malalaman kung sino ang beast kung hindi naman magsasalita si Daeril?
"Why don't you try to open the confidential file in Matix's laptop? Gusto ko rin malaman kung sino ang ama ko." Saad ni Daeril na ikinalaki ng mga mata ko. The file! Oh my gosh, we forgot about that.
Mabilis na kinuha ni Matix ang file niya. Nilapag niya sa table na nakaharap sa amin. Pinindot niya ang first video.
Magulo ang anggulo ng camera pero makalipas ang ilang segundo, nagpakita sa camera ang ama ni Matix. Halata ang takot sa mga mata nito.
"T-Time check, 11:07 am. Nasa faculty ako ngayon at nagtatago. Nagrestroom lang ako saglit pero hindi na ako lumabas nang marinig ko ang sigawan ng mga guro. Dalawang oras na ako dito at hindi ako makalabas. Nakakatakot lumabas dahil hindi ko alam kung ano ang mayroon doon." Nanginginig at pinapawisan na sambit ng ama ni Matix.
Tahimik lang ito at makalipas ang ilang minuto, nagsalita ito ulit. "Time check, 11:10 am. Tahimik na sa labas at ichecheck ko kung okay na ang lahat." Lumabas ito ng restroom. Kalat-kalat ang mga papel sa paligid. Yung mga upuan, nagsitumbahan na.
Lumabas ng faculty ang ama ni Matix at ganun din. Magulo ang hallway. "Wala po ang mga estudyante..pati mga guro.." nanginginig paring sambit ng ama ni Matix.
Sinubukan nito gamitin ang hagdanan para umakyat. Ganoon din sa mga nalalagpasan niyang floors hanggang sa umabot siya ng rooftop kung saan nakakarinig siya ng hiyawan at hikbi.
"N-Naririnig ko po ang iyak ng mga estudyante." Anang ama ni Matix at tinuro ang pinto ng rooftop. "Hindi ko alam kung ano ang nangyayari sa rooftop pero base sa mga sigaw, mukhang karumal-dumal ang ginagaw nila sa mga estudyante o sa mga guro."
Dahan-dahan, binuksan nito ang pinto nang bahagya. Sapat para makita sa camera ang nangyayari. Nakatalikod sa camera ang matangkad na lalake na hinala ko ay ang beast kasama ang batang katabi nito.
Tinuro ni Chaos ang bata. "That's me and the man beside me is the beast."
Young Chaos was covering his eyes while the beast's men are killing each student and teacher.
Nanginginig ang camera. Panigurado ay nanginginig ang ama ni Matix na siyang may hawak sa camera. Makalipas ang ilang minuto, tumingin sa gawi ng camera ang beast at agad na tumakbo ang ama ni Matix. Doon na nagtatapos ang video.
"Pause to the time when the beast looked at the camera." Utos ni Chaos kay Matix.
Matix did pause the video. Malabo iyon pero Matix did his own magic and enhanced the video.
Nanlaki ang mga mata ko nang makita ko kung sino ang lalaking nakatingin sa gawi ng camera.
"You finally realized.." anang boses sa likod namin.
Napaigtad kaming lahat at napalingon. It was Mr. Albert. His hands on his pocket.
"Mr. Albert..ikaw ang beast?" Effie asked na mukhang hindi makapaniwala sa nalaman.
Mr. Albert smiled creepily and it made me shiver. "The one and only." Anito at tumingin kay Daeril. "How are you, son?" Tanong nito.
Nagtagis ang panga ni Daeril. "You..You're my dad?" Tanong niya.
Tumawa si Mr. Albert. "How was the game? Boring? Difficult? Fun?" Tanong nito.
"It was sick. Stupid game of yours." Ani Chaos na matalim ang tingin kay Mr. Albert.
"Oh. Wait for more. The game is just starting." He smirked.
Kumunot ang noo ko. What does he mean? We already catched him. Wala na siyang takas.
Tumingin si Mr. Albert kay Effie. "I wouldn't do that if I were you." Aniya. Tumingin ako kay Effie na hawak ang phone niya at nakaopen ang recorder.
Pinatay ni Effie ang phone niya.
"You killed my parents?!" Pagalit na tanong ni Chaos.
"Easy, there. I was having fun!" Mr. Albert exclaimed at umupo sa katabing silya. He crossed his legs.
"Remember what I told you, Chaos? That I will come after you if you can't bring justice to you family?" Tanong ni Mr. Albert.
"Why would you let me live just so I can catch you?" Chaos asked.
"I can't kill you, Chaos. You are too significant." Sagot ni Mr. Albert.
"How?" Chaos asked. His fist are clenching.
"You will find out soon." Mr. Albert smirked.
"Ask question. I will humbly answer them with honesty." Mr. Albert smiled.
No one dared to ask. No one dared to speak. All of us were silent for more than five minutes.
Mr. Albert heaved a deep sigh. "Walang magtatanong? Fine. Ako ang magkukwento." He smirked.
"I was a police officer before then I changed my career. I became a teacher. A teacher at Liberty High. After a few years of teaching, I have received discrimination from the students. I don't know why but it made me fume mad. Kaya iniwan ko ang Liberty High. Formed my own group and attacked the school, then the massacre happened. I was so happy to kill those children who discriminated me and those teachers who made me feel small. Then I saw Chaos. Mukha siyang inosente at wala siyang ginawang kasalanan sa akin so I decided to let him live. Besides, I have my other reason kung bakit hindi ko siya pinatay. He called me a beast and that gave me the idea to call myself a beast."
"After ten years, bumalik ako to formulate a plan to play a little game with Chaos. Pero kasama si Friday so I asked Daeril to kill Belle Yuriao para matakot siya at umalis. Hindi ako nagtagumpay sa planong iyon. Then Effie came after I kidnapped Rea Dizon. When I saw her and Effie with Chaos, I immediately sent them the note because I don't want them involved. But then I realized, a multiplayer game is actually fun! Lalo na nang sumali na sa group si Matix. Imagine, a hacker for a group. Amazing!"
"I did everything I can to scare Chaos and waited for his attack. I kidnapped Friday, made Daeril kidnap Effie, I made that student send the polymorphic virus to everyone, I killed the couple, I killed Rhoanna, I killed Mary Rose to punish Daeril for not listening to my orders, I made that female student put poison in the pudding and I planted the bombs in Liberty High. I strapped the bomb on Daeril to make him look like the victim. I also started the fire at the cabin." Mr. Albert smirked.
"You are a monster." Sambit ni Effie.
"Oh, trust me. I'm worst than that." He smiled.
Chaos spoke, "I will make sure that you will rot in prison."
Mr. Albert shrugged. "Then I'm ready. I'm ready to face prison." He chuckled.
Dahan-dahang kinuha ni Effie ang phone. "Go on. Call your father. Call the police. Call anyone you like. Sabi ko nga, handa akong makulong." Effie then called her father and the police.
"Why? You are confusing us! Why do you want to face prison?" Chaos asked.
Mr. Albert shrugged and didn't say anything.
"You will rot in jail and your soul will be burnt in hell." Madiing sambit ni Chaos.
Tumawa lang si Mr. Albert. "We have the same personality, you know. We both have uncontrollable temper."
"I'm trying to control my temper." Chaos answered.
"Then you're weak." Ani Mr. Albert.
Bigla naman bumukas ang pinto at pumasok ang pulis. Hindi nila hinuhuli si Mr. Albert kaya nagtataka kami. They should cuff that beast!
"Effie, sabi mo, ay may serial killer dito sa school mo. Nagalala ako. Sino?" Tanong ng ama ni Effie.
Tinuro ni Effie si Mr. Albert. "Siya ang serial killer, dad. He admit to us the crimes he did."
Tumawa nang malakas si Mr. Albert. "I don't think you understand how police work goes, Effie. You need to have evidence to make me go to jail."
Kaya naman pala ang lakas ng loob na sabihing tawagin ang pulis. Dahil alam niyang wala kaming nakuhang ebidensiya laban sa kaniya.
"Sorry, Mr. Albert, but I do." Ani Chaos at pinakita ang microrecorder ni Matix sa kamay. Nanlaki ang mga mata ni Mr. Albert.
Binigay ni Chaos ang microrecorder sa ama ni Effie. "You want evidence? That's evidence. Nandiyan ang confession ni Mr. Albert sa mga krimen na nagawa niya."
Pinakinggan iyon ni Capt. Cruz na gulat na gulat din. Galit na pinosasan nito ang kamay ni Mr. Albert. "You are arrested for the murder of fifty students and teachers ten years ago and the murder of these following students.." binanggit ni Capt. Cruz ang mga pangalang pinatay ni Mr. Albert.
Nagtatagis ang bagang na nakatingin sa amin nang matalim. Kalaunan ay ngumiti ito at tinuro ang laptop. "I think you should also watch the other video and the document. It might help answer some questions you have in mind."
He continued, "oh, I forgot," tumingin si Mr. Albert kay Chaos. "You formed your own group? I also formed mine. Just like what I said, the game is just staring." Tumawa ito nang malakas bago hilain ng mga pulis palabas.
Nang kaming apat nalang ang natira sa classroom, binuksan ni Matix ang laptop at pinindot ang isang video.
Isang black screen lang ang nandoon at mga sentences ang lumabas:
I hacked Mr. Albert's location and security cameras inside his lair. This is what I found.
Si Mr. Albert, nakaupo sa pangisahang upuan na nasa dulo ng pahabang lamesa. Nakaupo patalikod sa camera ang apat na mga bata. Three boys, one girl.
"How old are you?" Tanong ni Mr. Albert sa mga bata.
The video is dated ten years ago. "Eight years old po." Sagot ng isang babae.
Tumango-tango si Mr. Albert. "I will train you to become evil. To help me, take down certain people in my favor. Understood?" Mariing sambit ni Mr. Albert.
"Understood, Mr. Albert." The kids said in unison.
"Ito ba ang sinasabi ni Mr. Albert kanina? Na he formed his own group?" Effie asked.
Tumango si Chaos. "They are eight that time. Which means they are eighteen years old by now."
"Do you think they will come after us ngayong nasa kulungan na si Mr. Albert?" Matix asked.
"Definitely. They are Mr. Albert's minions." Sagot ni Chaos.
"Matix, click the document." Utos ko. Pinindot naman ni Matix ang natitirang document.
"It's a legal DNA document." Matix said.
"Alnand Timothy Albert...Ocampo." I read.
So totoo ngang anak ni Mr. Albert si Daeril.
Isa pang pangalan ang nakakuha sa atensyon ko.
I gasped. "Chaos Salazar..Ocampo?"
Tumingin ako kay Chaos na mukhang nagulat. The document has Chaos's name and picture. Sunod akong tumingin kay Daeril. He looked shock as well.
"Daeril, Chaos, you two are siblings."
—END OF VOLUME 1—
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