Chapter 39 – Being Bold and Daring
I stare at my own reflection. Wow. I look so different. This isn’t the innocent Mary whom everyone likes to see every time. I look daring and bold and I’m proud of myself that I fought for this. Mom didn’t approve, said it’s too bold of me.
I smile as I twirl around. I’m so happy. This is the start of the new Mary. The sexy and daring Mary. I no longer need to be known as the innocent Mary, the naive Mary, tonight, I will show everyone that I can change. That I’m not so naive as they like to believe.
“Ang ganda mo, Mary.” Yaya beams. “Tiyak yan maraming magsasayaw sayo mamaya.”
I laugh, tonight is our school’s prom. Mom wanted me to wear the gown she had chosen for me, I refused. Mom didn’t like my choice of design, she even told me that she won’t pay for it. I didn't care, I have enough money to pay for it anyway. Hindi ko rin pinagawa sa regular shop na pinupuntahan namin ni mom tuwing kailangan ko ng mga formal gown, sympre mom pays them handsomely and they would flatly refuse my choice. Kaya sumama ako kay Chelsea kung saan niya pinapagawa yung gowns niya at dun ako nagpatahi.
Chelsea is the only person who knows about my gown for tonight. Nagkabati kami nung start ng bagong term, hindi nga lang na kami masyadong close pero dahil sa prom dahil close ulit kami. We had our little secrets. We both had our sexy gowns made. We both wanted to be bold and daring.
Yaya picks up the camera and takes a shot of me, I smile as the flash goes off. “Yan may mabibigay na ako kay Kim.” She comments as she looks over the photos she shot.
“Yaya!” I scold.
She shrugs. “Gusto niya daw makita yung gown mo.” She says, she has always like Kim. So, no wonder there really.
I talk to Kim not regularly but we talk, it’s just friendly. Even when I told him to let me go, he hasn’t. He just won’t take the memo. I guess he’s just as stubborn as me. So we talk. I also talk to Dr. Collins once a week through video conference.
She’s still persistent that I start talking about my childhood. She takes keen interest over the hold Louie has over me. Of course, I will not tell her anything about it, it’s not part of the deal I made with mom. She said all I need to do is to talk to Dr. Collins about having HCM, no other things.
I’m just being a good daughter and following my mom’s instruction anyway.
Yaya and I walk down the house and my mom is waiting at the living room, when she sees me I see the disapproval on her eyes, she studies me with her eyes, up and down. Starting with my new haircut I like my haircut, I like the fringe, of course mom doesn’t very much like it but I’m sixteen and I definitely won’t take let her order me around.
“You look beautiful Mary.” She compliments.
My smile widen at her compliment. I know she doesn’t like that I chose this gown over the gown she had made for me, the princess type gown. The conservative gown with all those laces, ruffles and petticoats.
Hindi sa ayaw ko sa ganun na gown, as much I hate to admit it right now, I like those types of gowns. It’s who I am, I grew up poise and proper but just for now, I just want to live.
I might die tomorrow and I don’t want to regret that I never lived my life. I want to be bold. To do things I never once imagine I would like to do and this is the example of those things I want to do.
I’m not saying I want to do those daredevil things like skydiving or sorts, all I’m saying is that I want to live, I want to live as a sixteen year old girl. I’m a senior for God’s sakes and I’m afraid to loosen myself up.
We make our way to the car, everyone compliments me as we go. On our way to the venue, mom talks about my check up tomorrow. I tune out the moment I hear her say appointment.
Ayaw kong pinag-uusapan yung regular visits ko sa hospital, ayaw kong may dalawang araw—in this case isa lang dahil walang pasok bukas— akong mami-miss na school days dahil sa mga test na ginagawa sa akin. I don’t like going to the hospital, it makes me cringe as I see those doctors and nurses, even the patients. I hate the smell of it.
No matter how they glam up the hospital, for me it will always feel like a prison. It smells like death. It always seems gloomy for me.
Manong opens the door once we reach the venue, there’s a red carpet and everyone is still outside checking everybody out. I breathe deeply, gosh I’m so nervous. Hindi ko alam kung anong magiging reaction ng lahat sa oras na makita nila yung suot suot ko.
Mom goes out first and she smiles as Ms. Leslie walks over the car. She holds her hand for me and I wait for Ms. Leslie to come.
Ms. Leslie greets mom and then she turns to look inside the car. Her jaw drops as I hop down the car. “Mary.” She starts. “You look stunning, dearest.”
I grin at her. “Like it?”
She nods at me approvingly. “Hindi ko lang sure sa ibang teachers mo.” She says. She turns to mom. “Ako na po yung magpapasok kay Mary sa loob. By eleven po papapasukin yung chaperones kung gustong mapanood yung awarding ceremony.” She informs mom.
Mom nods and she turns to me. “Have fun.” She says and kisses me on the cheek before going inside the car again, Manong salutes me and closes mom’s door, and he waves goodbye as he circles back to the driver’s seat.
Ms. Leslie and I walk inside the venue, everyone was staring with their jaw dropping. Oh my God. I never really think the effect of my new style would make people’s jaw drop at the sight of me.
I giggle and Ms. Leslie shoots me a look, I shake my head in amusement as the thought of everyone’s jaw dropping what would my teachers reactions would be, I’m pretty sure it will be priceless especially Ms. Rosario’s reaction. God. I wish she won’t faint.
Cyril’s at the table with the other prom committee. His jaw drops as he takes one look at me. He stands up from his chair and takes his coat off him, he walks towards me and wraps me with his coat. “What the hell are you wearing?” he growls. “I could see your cleavage from afar!”
I giggle. “Jeez Cy. Chill. Don’t I look sexy?”
“Of course you do! Kaya lang masydong revealing yung suot mo!” Cyril says, he leads me to the long table, everybody greets me, and he sits me down at the chair he occupied a minute ago.
Rhiannon pushes the attendance sheet towards me and smiles at me, she looks great, everybody is.
I sign my name at the sheet and look over it, I smile as I see Carmina and Ynna’s names jotted down the sheet. I want to look for them but I know that Cyril won’t let me out of his sight. He’s such a bore.
So I stay with the committee, it’s really boring, the only upside is that I get to judge everyone with their outfit. Juniors are trying hard to copy last year’s and the seniors are well seniors. We don't follow protocol.
I feel cold and actually grateful that Cyril gave his coat earlier. I push myself up, I really want to go up and look for my friends, they’ve been here and my classmates are upstairs already.
Cyril looks over me. “Saan ka pupunta?” he asks.
I am about to answer when I hear someone clears his throat. I turn my head around and hold my breath. Jeez. He looks very manly with his black tuxedo, I hide a smile as I see the color of his bowtie.
What a coincidence that is. It matches the color of my gown.
“Mary.” Allen greets me, I know that just like Cyril he doesn’t approve my choice of gown for tonight. I can see it.
“Hi Allen.” I greet him. “Sign ka na diyan oh.” I tell him and wait for him to sign.
He does and I smile at him. He looks back at me and smile.
I walk towards him and place my right hand on his arm. “Come akyat na tayo.” I say, he looks at me in suprise. I think he can see the surprise in my face too, I don’t know why I just did that. It just came naturally.
He nods and leads me away.
I can feel Cyril’s cold stare at my back, I did not dare turn around to see if I’m right, I know I am. I could feel it.
Allen doesn’t push my hand away from his arms and I am grateful for it, he takes it and holds it as we go up from the escalator. “Alam ko hindi ko lugar para sabihin sayo na hindi ko gusto yung gown mo. Pero ayun ang totoo. Sure ako mamaya niyang pagtitinginan ka ng mga lalaki.”
“I just want to be bold Allen.”
He sighs. “Hindi mo kailangan maging bold para lang masabi ng tao na malakas ka. I know you’re strong.” He says. He can really see right through me. He’s right, I do want to let people know that I am strong. If only Allen know why I want to be seen as strong. “You look beautiful. And you’re always sexy for me.”
I giggle. I thank whoever designed the escalator for having it made longer than the usual escalator. I miss talking to Allen. “Sus bolero.”
“Pwede bang humingi ng pabor Mary?” he asks me.
I nod. “Sure fire away.”
“Pwede tanggihan mo kung sino man mag-aaya sayong sumayaw mamaya? Pati yung mga magpapa-picture na lalaki?” he asks me.
I look at him stun. What the hell right? “Allen…”
He shakes his head. “Mary, hindi ko kayang mapanood yung mga lalaki na tignan yung dibdib mo, na ilagay nila yung kamay nila sa likod mo o sa katawan mo. O di kaya tignan nila yung legs mo.”
“I don’t know.” I say. This is my last prom and I want to dance with everyone, I want to have fun. How can I have fun if I just sit and watch everyone dance? I know his jealous but he’s going to dance with other girls so why can’t I?
“Mary, baka makasuntok ako pag nakita kong mali yung tinitignan ng lalaking kasayaw mo. Kaya please Mary. Kung gusto mo hindi rin ako ako sasayaw.” He offers.
I guess he has the right reason, I think Cyril will ask me not to dance later too. Cyril is finding the right time to tell me so, I think. I nod at him. “Sige pero okay lang kung gusto mong magsayaw.” I tell him.
I want him to have fun. For himself and for me.
When we reach the second floor, Carmina beams at me and Allen lets go of my hand. He smiles at me and leans over to whisper something. “Thank you Mary.” He says and walks away from me.
Carmina shoots me a questioning look and I shrug. It’s not like I can tell her that Allen doesn’t want me to dance. We walk to our classmates and everyone smiles at me. We talk as we wait to be ushered inside.
I can have fun even I won’t be dancing. I mean, it’s not like it’s all about dancing right? I can help my teachers and eat all night.
I will be having fun tonight.