“And comes the most awaited number. You ready?”
Elmo glanced at the guy standing right behind him, Direk Rico, the man responsible for bringing JuliElmo together, then and now. Elmo nodded and turned to the stage mindlessly when he heard Julie’s voice. Direk Rico watched Elmo as he focused his attention to Julie.
“You know, I watched how you both changed from being strangers to friends. From barely looking at each other to staring at each other for hours.” It was an exaggerated statement but Elmo knew what Direk Rico meant, “The look in your eyes… it was different, special. The kind na isang tao lang ang pinaglalaanan mo ng ganong tingin.”
Direk Rico paused to look at Elmo, “Parang wala namang nagbago…”
Elmo smiled, remained silent and kept his eyes on Julie.
“Why did you do it?”
He knew that sooner or later someone was going to ask him upfront why he did it. Why he left, why he let go, why he abandoned Julie or what other interpretation people had. Normally, there was only one truth that people believed in - anything that made them happy. Julie and Elmo’s fans weren’t any different. No matter how good his intentions were, if it didn’t please anyone, these truths were deemed as lies.
But Direk Rico was different, Elmo knew that much. If there’s anyone besides his family that would understand him, it was Direk Rico. Then he thought about Julie, if things were okay between them, if he hadn’t hurt her, she would understand him too.
He closed his eyes briefly before shifting his attention from Julie to Direk Rico…
I will, as soon as I figure out how to write the “most important” scene ;)
Aww, thanks! Soon, soon, soon.
Is this A from Pretty Little Liars? Haha, kidding! Let’s keep our fingers crossed for that ;)
Haha, sobrang late lang ng reply ko. Oh well, better late than never, right? Thank you!
How deep ate? :p
This is either for Wanted or Soaked. Well, Wanted’s done and the latest update for Soaked will take a little while, hope that’s fine with you. God bless you too, and take care :)
Hello, Anon! Thank you very much, that’s sweet :)
What is late reaction to a very touching TA? Anyways, thank you for the kind words, Ate. Dreams have a way of turning into reality, as long as we give the Universe a little push ;)
HAHAHA! That’s all :p
What ever story this was for, I’m sure it’s already finished. I hoped you liked it :)
After the confrontation, Elmo decided that he had to give Julie some space. Kinakausap pa rin naman niya si Julie, pero hindi na gaya ng dati na talagang gumagawa siya ng paraan para makuha ang atensyon nito. To Elmo, the reunion concert was his chance to change things between him and Julie. He wanted their old relationship back but after seeing that she was still not okay, he realized that what he’s asking for may be too much, too soon for Julie.
For the remaining days of rehearsals, Julie and Elmo found themselves having little time to interact with each other as they concentrated on polishing their individual performances. Nagsimula na rin silang magrehearse sa actual venue at nakadagdag ito sa mga rason kung bakit hindi na sila masyadong nakakapagusap.
Dahil nga hindi na nakakapagusap ng madalas, naging gawain nila Julie at Elmo na panoorin ang individual numbers ng isa’t isa, but this wasn’t something new to both of them. Even before, they would look at each other at the end of each number. They gave each other a smile, or a thumb’s up sign to show their approval. Despite everything, they were still there for each other. Something Julie and Elmo realized that they won’t outgrow.
On their last day of rehearsals, Direk Rico has decided to throw a lunch party and call rehearsals off for the rest of the day. Natuwa ang staff at pati narin si Julie at Elmo. The concert was scheduled in two days and they needed all the rest that they could get before the big day.
“This is a pre-congratulatory lunch, but it doesn’t mean that you should bid your colleagues goodbye. May victory party pa tayo, kasi I know that this concert will be a hit. And we have Julie and Elmo to thank for that.”
Direk Rico faced Julie and Elmo, “To the both of you, thank you for accepting this project kahit na short notice. Thank you for giving us a chance to see why five years ago, a lot of people would have gladly given an arm or leg just to make sure that you end up together in real life. And although you didn’t, I think everyone in this room will agree with me if I say that after five years, you both still got it, JuliElmo.” Direk Rico smiled at them before speaking again, “…but you know guys, it’s not too late, pwede pa naman maging kayo.” Dagdag nito.
Nagkatinginan si Elmo at Julie, nailang sila sa sinabi ni Direk Rico ngunit dahil sa hiyawan at pang-aasar ng staff natawa na lang silang dalawa. Elmo was about to say something when Direk Rico waved him off.
“Hey, wag na muna kayong magspeech. After na lang ng concert. Save the best for last.” Direk Rico winked and gave Julie and Elmo a hug.
After their lunch party, the staff left the venue one by one. Nilapitan ni Elmo si Julie ng makitang konti na lang ang tao para makausap niya ito.
He sat beside Julie and cleared his throat, “So… after the concert, any other big projects?”
“Wala naman, just working on the same things. Tapings, magazine shoots, tapos promotion for the album. Ikaw?”
“I might start recording for my new album.”
“Wow. That’s great, your fans will be thrilled.”
Elmo smiled feebly, “Thanks.”
Silenced followed and both Elmo and Julie knew that they were back to square one. After letting a few minutes pass, Elmo broke the silence.
“I’ll see you in two days then…”
“Yup. See you.”
Elmo watched Julie smile at him before she walked out of the venue. Just days after the reunion concert meeting, he was sure he knew what he wanted. Now, he feels exactly how he felt five years ago - lost and defeated.
Julie enjoyed the day prior to the concert by staying at home, lying on her bed and reading a few books. Kung hindi pa tinawag ni Marivic si Julie para kumain ng hapunan, hindi nito mapapansin na gabi na pala.
“Mukhang nag-enjoy ka masyado sa pagrerelax mo. You’ve skipped lunch and merienda.”
“Sorry Ma. Sinusulit ko lang ‘tong araw na ‘to.”
Marivic regarded her thoughtfully, ”Kinakabahan ka ba for the concert tomorrow?”
Huminga ng malalim si Julie bago tumango.
“Don’t be. I know you’ll be great anak.”
Julie smiled, “Thank you, Mama. Sana nga po maging okay ‘yung concert tomorrow. Sana maappreciate ng fans.”
“They will. They waited five years for this, remember?” Marivic noticed the change in Julie’s mood, “Anak, if you’re worried about being on stage with Elmo tomorrow, don’t be. Kahit hindi kayo nakapagrehearse for it, kaya niyo ‘yon. Kayo pa? Kabisadong kabisado niyo na ang isa’t isa.”
Julie closed her eyes briefly and looked at Marivic once again.
“Julie, kahit limang taon na ang nakalipas naniniwala akong tansyado mo pa rin si Elmo, at ganon rin siya sa’yo.”
“Ma, how can you say that?”
Marivic moved closer to Julie and ran her fingers through her daughter’s hair, ”The mind can easily forget, but the heart doesn’t. Tandaan mo ‘yan.”
Nanatiling naka tingin si Julie kay Marivic, “Ma…”
“Wala kang kailangan i-explain sakin. Kahit na hindi mo sabihin, alam ko kung anong nararamdaman mo. You’re my daughter, I’d always know.”
Julie hugged her Mom tight and cleared her mind of the things that were bothering her.
After having dinner with her family, Julie returned to her room and sat on the floor. She had her back against the bed while facing the sliding door leading to her room’s terrace. Julie was lost in her thoughts when she saw a shadow from her terrace.
The figure stood still on the other side of sliding door. Julie stared back at the figure and noticed that it was starting to slowly open the sliding door.
Shoot, hindi ko nga pala ni-lock! Julie started to panic. Tatakbo na sana si Julie palabas ng kwarto ng marinig niyang magsalita ang tao sa labas.
“Julie, it’s just me.”
Julie stopped in her tracks and turned around to look at the figure.
The figure opened the sliding door completely and indeed, standing outside was Elmo.
“Ano ka ba? Aatakihin naman ako sa puso dahil sa ginawa mo! Ang late na, anong ginagawa mo dito?”
“I’m sorry. I just thought that you wouldn’t mind if I came here…”
Tinitigan ni Julie si Elmo. He looked bothered. Bigla niyang naalala na dati nang ginagawa ‘to ni Elmo. When something was bothering him, he would go to Julie’s house to talk to her and would not leave until he felt better. Having Julie in his life, as Elmo used to say, was better than having a girlfriend. Julie felt her heart ache a bit at the thought. She never imagined that there will come a time that Elmo would need her this much again.
“Hey, okay lang. Halika, pasok. Malamig na diyan sa labas.”
Julie saw the hesitation in Elmo’s eyes and sensed that he might leave before saying anything.
“Okay, sige. You can stay there, ako na lang lalabas.”
Palabas na si Julie ng terrace ng pigilan siya ni Elmo.
“Stay there. Ako na lang dito sa labas, baka lamigin ka.”
Elmo sat on the floor, facing Julie. After a while, Julie did the same.
They stared at each other for a few seconds before Elmo finally gave Julie a bittersweet smile and talked, ”That look… it still makes my heart beat both fast and slow at the same time.”
Elmo reached for Julie’s hand. He carefully stroked his thumb against her soft skin while staring at her.
“Elmo, lampas 11 na ng gabi at concert na bukas. Pumunta ka dito para titigan ako at sabihin ‘yan sakin? You should have just stayed at home and rested.” Julie shifted her attention to their now intertwined hands, “Don’t say that… don’t look at me like that. It feels… wrong. Parang out of place.” Julie looked back at Elmo and saw how he was intensely staring at her.
“Out of place?” Elmo narrowed his eyes towards Julie.
“Alam mo naman kung anong ibig kong sabihin…” Julie paused, “Elmo, you’re looking at me the same way you looked at me years ago. Gets mo ba? ‘Yung parang… parang…”
“I look like I’m not planning to take my eyes off of you? And parang wala akong balak na bitawan ka kasi natatakot ako na mawala ka? ‘Yun ba Julie?” Elmo continued to stare at her. Julie froze and stared back without uttering a single word.
Elmo used his free hand and caressed Julie’s cheek, “Why would it be so wrong for me to look at you like that when it tells you exactly how I feel?”
Julie held the hand that was on her cheek. She held it tightly before moving it away.
“You used to look at me like that and then what? Bigla ka na lang nawala. What you’re telling me… ‘yan ba talaga ang nararamdaman mo o ‘yan ang sinasabi mo kasi ‘yan ‘yung kailangan mong maramdaman? Because if it’s the latter… Elmo, we’re not a loveteam anymore.”
Julie’s question surprised Elmo. He was telling her the truth but somehow, the thought of Julie doubting his feelings made him think twice about admitting it. If only he had realized how much Julie meant to him years ago, it would have been easier to convince her that it was the truth. They were now in a complicated situation. Suddenly, it dawned on Elmo that putting the broken pieces back together is not as easy as it seems, specially when the pieces are already too broken to fit in the first place. He slowly let go of Julie’s hand.
“I’m sorry. You’re right, I shouldn’t have said those things.” Elmo quickly stood to leave.