F Chapter 1: Freshmen


There are several things the Philippines is obsessed with - other people's weight, women's civil status, and America. All those things rule every Filipino's life 'till the day they die.

While you can be sued in America for asking someone whether or not they are married or how much they weigh, it's the most common greeting in my country. You see an old friend, a relative in a family reunion or your grade school teacher, the first thing they say is "Ang taba mo. May asawa ka na?" (You're so fat. Are you married already?).

Thank you for not being concerned whether or not I am healthy and happy. Those things are so not important.



There's a whole lot of comebacks I can use to put the other person in their place but doing so makes me a dick. Claiming those things never affected me is beyond hypocritical considering I am perpetually on a diet and decided to move to America when I turned 30 because I was getting sick of people asking me why I haven't gotten married yet.

When I got to America, I realized there's a new set of evil I have to deal with - TMZ, Starbucks, and lawsuits.

TMZ is the most credible news source on the planet right now. ISTG. While CNN, BBC, and Reuters scramble to create patches to piece together a story to present something that’s suspicious at best, TMZ comes out with one indisputable evidence and BAM! The world shifts in its axis.

Back in 2009, when Twitter was in its infancy and meme was still often mispronounced, they reported that Elin Nordegran, then wife of Tiger Woods, the world’s too-good-to-be-true goody-two-shoes gazillionaire and on his way to becoming the greatest golfer to have ever lived, rammed his car to a fire hydrant and then a tree after being chased by Elin with a golf club after Elin found out that he has been serially womanizing. The final reports told a different story but the point is... Elin found a whole new use for that golf club.

They also broke the internet and millions of people’s sanity when they showed Solange Knowles kicking Jay-Z while inside an elevator with Queen Bey. There were speculations that it was because Jay-Z had a side hoe. Jay-Z later on confessed to the side hoe but didn’t confirm it was related to the elevator-Solange incident.

There’s Mel Gibson’s DIU. Separation of Brangelina. And of course, the most important news this decade, Ariana Grande licking a doughnut. The doughnut shop eventually got a B rating, completely disregarding the healing capability of Ariana’s holy saliva. FDA is being unreasonable.

I don’t usually watch TMZ. I favor PEP.ph which is like TMZ but for the Philippines. It’s what I usually browse whenever I arrive early for class. I decided to take my MBA in the US and ditch my plans of going to Canada but that’s another chapter. 

It is in one of these classes where I learned that California is also obsessed with lawsuits. They like suing. You can be friends for a lifetime and if you invite them to a party and they get diarrhea because of the food you serve, your ass is going to get sued. They can go and use your bathroom and if they slip, you’re so going to get sued. So lock those T&Bs and let them pee on their pants… those fuckers.

You can also get sued for helping. Say… someone slips and you catch them. They can claim they got an injury because you held onto their arms too tight. If you see someone about to get ran over and you pushed the person away and they hit their head when they fall to the ground, you can get sued for that too. Let them die, what the hell?

"There's an upside to that," one of my professor's said. "If you ever become a victim of violent crime in the U.S., you can use that to get your green card."

ISTG, half of the class started looking for where Skid Row is.

Starbucks is another California obsession. There’s a store in every corner. Every morning, thousands of cars line up in Starbucks’ Drive Through to order their over-priced coffee because getting down from the car and walking up to the counter to order from a barista who can’t ever spell anyone’s name correctly for their life is so last century.

Never mind that Starbucks’ coffee tastes horrible or at least, horrible for its price. All that matters is that they spend 30 more minutes in their car and $5 more instead of saving 25 minutes by walking up to the counter and burning 5 calories of the 1,000 they will gain from the drink they will overpay.

“Let’s get coffee,” said my friend whose name I can’t mention or she might sue me because I totally didn’t ask for her permission to include her in this story. We also had a falling out. I'll tell you how it happened, I promise. Let’s just call her Lady Gaga. She is not originally from California but is hell bent on being one. So, she’s doing everything the California way.

“Okay,” I said. “Can we not go to Starbucks?”

“Why? I thought you like coffee?” Lady Gaga asked.

It’s not mutually exclusive, moron. “Yes but I don’t like their coffee.”

“Huh?” Lady Gaga asked, looking at me like I was growing a second head. I didn’t reply because I didn’t think there was anything to explain. I know it was a compound sentence but the first thought had a single word. “It’s Starbucks!”

So the fuck what? “I know.”

“Oh,” Lady Gaga said, shaking her very skinny body a little and mildly flipping her breast-length hair. She has really small eyes common to Chinese (she’s not Chinese) that becomes even smaller when she’s trying to be cute or trying to be smart. She fails most of the time. Her head is almost always tilted to the left or to the right. “You’re one of those corporate giant haters who preserve and assert their intellectual superiority by denouncing brands that have amassed consumer loyalty by branding and not product quality?”

Okay… first of all, impressive sentence construction. Second, product quality is branding. Third...

"How the fuck did my dislike for Starbucks coffee lead to my preservation and assertion of intellectual superiority which I wasn’t doing by the way because I like Nike, RayBan, Levi Strauss and iPic theater which are all irrationally expensive and paradoxically unnecessary?" I quipped. 

Silence... bird chirping... cars unnecessarily honking... old ladies screaming.

"Huh?" 

“Let’s just go buy a fuckin’ coffee in fuckin’ starbucks. Jesus bicyclin’ Christ,” I said going into the paragon of marketing success.

After spending my next day’s lunch money on a half-filled half-way decent cappuccino cup, Kris texted to tell us she is almost at the restaurant where we are supposed to have dinner. By this time, Kris, Lady Gaga and I have been friends for almost a year.

By sheer stupidity and a little bit of luck, I ended up living in the most American of all U.S. States, California. It is the cradle of American dream, where the glitter, glamour, and gallant symmetry of nature and technology meet to create this stateside paradise.

Like any other immigrant, I wanted to be in the center of it all. So, I rented a room in Koreatown. Yes, Koreatown. As in the town of Koreans in Los Angeles. WTF right?

Koreatown is starting to get submerged in darkness but the chilly air and beautiful yellow to dark orange gradient of the sky were far too seductive to reject. Lady Gaga and I decided to walk eight blocks to take in the California air and because we didn’t have cars.

It’s not a bad walk, really. Koreatown doesn’t have the abundance of light in darkness as you would find in Vegas and isn't nestled by gigantic trees and scary sacred mountains. It has a lot of small stores where cute dresses that are not mass produced are sold by cute Korean store clerks whose skin are smooth as porcelain.

There are cafes where even cuter Korean guys and girls serve masterfully crafted coffee and pastries. There are old Korean couples walking in the morning wearing their socks with giddily cute cartoon designs and cozy light colored jackets while they hold hands.

It has evolved into becoming a little... Korea... in America. Whatever the hell that means.

When the sky surrenders to darkness, small cafes and Korean restaurants turn on their faint store lights. The lighted interior of the restaurants visible through glass walls and glass doors invites people with steam coming from barbecue grill or hot ramen create a mystically homey atmosphere. Store music and conversations are muffled and it’s almost nostalgic how each store reverberates conversations and clanking of utensils and plates with varying crescendo. It’s like someone is ever so slowly turning the radio dial to search for the perfect station.

Except walking through Koreatown in the middle of the night seems the perfect station. It is simple and, to a certain extent, peaceful but it does not lack life because there is life in those intimate conversations over barbecues, there is life in those stories exchanged by friends in those coffee shop nestled with fresh plants and flowers, and there is life in these families living their culture in a country away from theirs. With smokey breaths and near to frozen hands, I try to see as much as I can in each of the restaurants we pass by.

I was a newbie at reading Hanggul (Korean writing) so I decided to ignore the English store signs and concentrate on the ones written in Hanggul. I was going so slow Lady Gaga decided to busy herself with her phone and let me torture myself. I was wearing my oldest pair of chucks, oldest pair of pants and army-colored winter coat, I could walk a thousand hours, I was fine. I was gonna get this Hanggul reading down if it ends my life. As I progressed, finally getting the confusion between N and G over, I suddenly heard someone screaming.

It’s Koreatown, people scream all the damn time. I was not going to be bothered. I am halfway reading the name of a hotel if I could only differentiate between E and A.

“Help! Somebody help!”

See… you can get sued for helping (see above)… so… I walked on. I wasn’t about to get sued.

“Lady Gaga!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Oh shit. I spin around so fast I thought I was going to get a whiplash.

Lady Gaga is being dragged along the sidewalk by a tall woman wearing a rather well-fitting white short dress. She wasn’t wearing slippers or shoes and she had a red scarf around her neck. The woman was holding Lady Gaga’s hair while yelling something I couldn’t be bothered to understand.

“Somebody help! Xath! Lady Gaga is getting hurt!”

I jerked at the sound of my name. Who the hell is that?

I saw three other Filipinas several feet away and one of them, the tallest, is flapping their hands to their side like a penguin.

The other jumping, I am not sure if it's out of excitement or panic really.

"Xath! Xath! Lady Gaga can't breathe," the girl with the short hair said, pointing to Lady Gaga.

I can see that. I can also see that there are people pointing their phones at Lady Gaga but no one is bothering to help because you can get fuckin' sued for trying to fuckin' help.

"But there's an upside to this," my professor said in class that morning. "If someone assaults you while you're in the U.S., you can use that to get a green card."

"Call 911," the girl flapping her hands said.

"I will," I said, reaching for my phone. Let's just give her a minute.

“You’re calling 911?” The girl with a short hair asked.

“Uh huh,” I said as the woman dragging Lady Gaga is now wrapping the scarf around Lady Gaga’s neck. I put the phone on my ear but didn't dial 911. Maybe a minute more. 

“Kick her!” The hand flapping girl yelled as we watch Lady Gaga’s ass get slammed on the pavement. 

"Ooooh... ouch," I said. Maybe it's time to dial 911... for real. 

“911 what’s your emergency.”

My friend’s ass is getting kicked. “My friend is getting assaulted,” I said.

“Where are you?” The 911 operator asked.

“Wilshire and St. Andrew’s in Los Angeles, Koreatown,” I said. Lady Gaga is now getting slapped… hard.

“Kick her!” The hand flapping girl continued to coach.

“Okay, Ma’am. Police is on the way. Do you know the assailant?”

“No. I don’t think my friend knows her either,” I said. "I think she’s homeless."

“Can you describe her to me please?”

“Oh my god! Fight back! Kick her!” The girl hasn’t stopped yelling. She’s going to outcoach Freddie Roach at this stage.

“I can’t see her face clearly. She’s tall, long hair, wearing a white dress and a red scarf. She’s barefoot,” I said.

“Does she have a weapon with her?”

“I don’t think so. She’s using her scarf as a weapon, she’s strangling my friend… oh… wait… the woman let go of my friend and she’s walking away,” I said as I watch the girl literally strut away like a Victoria Secret model. She’s workin’ it.

“Ma’am, police is on the way. Don’t go after her,” the operator said.

Not even if you ask me to.

The three girls who kept on screaming and coaching Lady Gaga as she was being attacked help her up. Lady Gaga is coughing. She's shaken but she seems okay. 

“Hey, you okay?” A Caucasian guy with well-toned body and well-blow dryed hair asked. He is probably 5’8” at best but we’re all small. He towers over us. “We saw what happened. You want us to stay with you ‘till the police officer arrive?”

“Yes please,” Freddie Roach prodigy said. She has unzipped her jacket to reveal her breast hugging v-neck red blouse. When exactly she did that, I have no clue. It’s cold. She might get sick but I couldn’t voice out my concern because I have no idea who these three girls are and I am still on the phone with the 911 operator.

“Is this yours?” A Caucasian girl asked, handing Lady Gaga a pouch. Lady Gaga takes the pouch, the Caucasian guy takes the Caucasian girl’s hand. Freddie Roach prodigy takes off her jacket. She’s fighting for her man.

“Thank you but I will be fine,” Lady Gaga said.

“But maybe you can help us through this. We are immigrants, we don’t know how it works here. Do we need to pay for 911?” Freddie Roach prodigy asked, her hand landing on the shoulder of the Caucasian guy. 

“No,” the Caucasian guy said, smiling. His teeth are nice. His thighs are popping out of his jeans. “You only pay if… like… an ambulance has to rush you to a hospital or you get treatment on the scene.”

“Do you need... like treatment?” The Caucasian girl asked, inching closer to the Caucasian guy.

“Oh, so that’s how it works,” Freddie Roach prodigy said, popping her breast out a little bit… ok maybe a whole lot and the Caucasian girl isn’t like it but can’t do anything about it. Her babies are small.

“I think we’ll be fine,” the girl with the short hair said. “But thank you for offering.”

“Okay. I hope you’re okay,” the Caucasian girl takes the exit ticket… fast and Freddie Roach prodigy isn’t happy.

Police arrive shortly after. Lady Gaga filed a “Victim of Violent Crime Report”.

“You can call the hotline if you feel you need medical assistance as a result of this attack,” the police officer said. He is probably still in training because he keeps on asking his partner if what he is doing is correct and the girl whose breasts are popping out of her unbuttoned shirt keeps on batting her eyelashes at the police officer.

By the time we get to the restaurant, Kris is worried sick and I have three other girls with us whose names I don't know. 

“My god, what happened?” Kris asked as her eyes dart to Lady Gaga, me, and the three other girls behind me. 

I sit down right beside her and points to Lady Gaga, “She is going to get her green card.”


*****


“You can get a green card for that?” Shedry asked after I told them the story of Marina who was beaten by her neighbor with a baseball bat after she put a “Don’t shit your dog in my plant” (exact words she used) sign in front of her apartment.

Her neighbor got offended because he felt she was insulting him which was pretty odd considering he didn’t have a dog. True story. You can’t make this shit up.

She was taken to a hospital by an ambulance and she got her green card shortly after.

“No need to get married. Just go get beaten up,” Uma said, she’s the quiet one. She watches me flip the beef brisket on the grill. I am the official cook when we go Korean Barbeque because I only eat chicken, I have more time to cook and they have more time to eat and talk.

“Is that what you’re going to do?” Kris asked Lady Gaga.

“Do it,” Freddie Roach prodigy said. Her name is Antonia said. She’s the tallest among us. Her protruding eyes, thick lips and well-defined jawline makes her look like a model. I think she knows. 

“Uhm, I have to check with my lawyer,” Lady Gaga said. She’s okay but I think the embarrassment of what happened is what’s shaking her more than the physical pain. She seems more ‘afloat’ than usual.

“Are you okay?” Shedry asked Lady Gaga. She was apparently the first one to scream for help.

She’s okay. She’s just usually not present in any situation she’s in. She likes being physically present in one place but her mind wanders to another… like someone high on coke. “She’s fine,” I said but didn’t really make an effort to make sure everyone hears it.

“I’m okay,” Lady Gaga said, taking her phone from her purse.

“Are you texting your parents,” Shedry asked.

She’s browsing Facebook.

“Yes,” Lady Gaga said.

I serve them the first batch of Bulgogi, chicken is only half-way done but we already smell like fresh meat. Literally. It’s what Korean BBQ does to everybody.

Shedry, Uma, and Antonia joining us for dinner isn’t planned, obviously. While Kris, Lady Gaga, and I have all known each other for a year, Shedry, Uma, and Antonia are all acquaintances of Lady Gaga. And I’ve met them before, apparently. A week prior, to be exact.

Throughout dinner, I pretend to remember.


*****


Sometimes, it does feel like happiness is some sort of competition everyone is involuntarily a part of, a race we constantly run… with an end congruent to our mortality.

We can’t help it, I guess. It’s embedded in our DNA, a primal instinct to chase satisfaction, feel happy and content.

It is made worse by our upbringing. While we live with an untearable desire to be happy, our parents prime us to become their legacy, our environment shapes us to pass the standards of community and commonality because familiarity brings security. I never meant it to rhyme. 

We are pre-disposed to chase an end and then engraved with the map we must follow to get to it. We are told it is to guarantee our success and happiness. It’s really a set up for failure. It’s no wonder few ever comes out truly alive and truly happy.

Asian parents drive their kids to academic achievements. Passing is never enough. We have to get into the top 10 and when we finally get into the top 10, we need to be number one. We are supposed to work the hardest, be well-rounded, and be perfect in all the ways social standards require. When we do achieve that, the boundaries are pushed farther for us. There’s always something more.

After school, we need a career, after a career, we need to get a relationship. After a relationship, we need a wedding and after a wedding, we need to have kids. We chase and chase for an end that serves no purpose but the past. We fulfill our parents’ frustrations or inherit their ideation. We live to belong to a world that was formed for someone else’s satisfaction. Rarely are we ever told that now is all we really have. There is nothing beyond this. Nobody ever tells us that there is no finish line and it’s useless to compete because the only opponent we have is ourselves.

And we will never win.

Kris runs the race relentlessly though.

Kris is an only daughter to an alpha father. His pride never let him give less than what he thinks his daughter deserves and never let him expect less from all his children. She was raised with emotional and financial security. It’s the only security she knows. 

The only bane of her existence are the expectations that come with the privileges she was afforded. Unlike me, moving to the US was her long-term and consistent goal. Her father almost migrated to the US and the frustration it caused him translated to Kris. She wanted to fulfill the dreams her father missed.

America is the destination for her.

When she told us she was getting married, it didn’t come as a surprise. She made no effort to hide that it’s what she wanted. It kills two birds with one stone. It fulfills her dream of being married and having a green card. 

She also doesn’t hide her expectations and she’s full of it.

What puzzled me is how she couldn’t see none if it will be fulfilled.

Robbie, the man she is going to marry, looks like a typical Filipino guy. He is average in height by Filipino standards, 5’5”, wavy hair, and beautiful even brown skin. He comes from a typical (not traditional) Filipino family. He is a year older than Kris, 29 and works as a Medical Equipment Liaison, a.k.a. Driver of vans carrying medical equipment. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his work. It’s legal and it pays. More importantly, he works.

He is also the head of his family consisting of one younger brother and a mother. His brother works part-time in the same medical facility where he works. The part-time part made Robbie the default provider in the family. It’s a tight-knit Filipino family, none too ordinary.

When Robbie went down on one knee with a ring, he didn’t give much of a speech… not much but he did.

“Kris, if it is okay with you that I come with a baggage of a family, then marry me,” he said.
Kris tears up and said yes.

It’s a train wreck in progress and I’m a witness.


*****

But Kris and I aren’t life-long friends. She may be one of the closest friends I have here in the U.S. but becoming friends later in life comes with certain boundaries much thicker than the ones you have with friends you made back in high school. There’s a lot more politeness expected and a lot more tact. Truth is often sacrificed for politeness. There’s a certain spontaneity that only growing up together affords you. Seeing each other go through all the awkward phases, embarrassing fashion evolution, and heartaches defaults to more careless honesty. 

When I met Kris, she’s already a woman of her own. She is molded into a shape that fits the world she chose to build for herself. That is expected to be respected.

I didn’t care for shit like that.

“You do know that you are going to live with his mother and brother for the rest of your life, yes?” I told Kris one afternoon after our third pitcher of flavored soju in what is becoming our favorite bar, Heu.

“Yes,” Kris said. She’s on her third stick. Her lipstick is on the cigarette’s filter and soju glass. “I like them. His mom is like my mom. I cry to her. I confide in her. It’s okay.”

Bullshit. “Okay,” I said. “And… is he ever going to study and try to get a better career?”

“He’s a simple guy,” she said.

“You’re not a simple girl,” I said.

“US has humbled me. I’m not the spoiled brat I used to be, you know?”

I like Heu because of several things. I like that they have a buzzer in each table. You don’t have to constantly raise your hand like a god damned grade school student whenever you need something. You click it and they come.

I like their flavored soju. I like drinking but as my age goes up, my alcohol tolerance goes down. Flavored soju allows me to enjoy the buzz of booze but does so gently. The fruit juice they mix into it soften the blow and it makes me feel like I’m drinking juice.

I like the place. It’s simple. It doesn’t intimidate you into turning away but doesn’t look like a cheap one either.

I like the music and the volume. It isn’t too loud that you will have to shout just to have other people hear what you are saying. It lets me concentrate on the actual conversation, instead of how much louder I have to be to be heard. That comes with other benefits, like allowing me to look at the person or persons I am with and watch them as they talk and move because there is always more to their actions than their words.

The disadvantage is that it allows me to look at the person, in this instance Kris, I am with and watch her as she talks and moves because there is always more to her actions and silence than in her words.
That’s why I knew she was being honest when she said US has humbled her and that she’s not a spoiled brat she used to be. Her economic power in the Philippines means nothing in the US. Here, we are poor. The Pharmacy license she has in the Philippines is worth $10 per hour in California. Servers in McDonald’s get paid way better. US does not give a damn about eight years of professional experience. The big house and car she worked for her entire life in the Philippines is loose change in the US.

Here, we are nobody. Nothing.

She is being honest. She is humbled.

But it’s half of the truth… or maybe a quarter of it.

Which makes it mostly a lie.

“And when you have children? He can’t support two adults and a kid with a $15/hour job,” I said.

“I just have to work harder,” she said. “When I get my green card, I’ll take the board. Pharmacists here can get paid $100,000 annually.”

“And you’re ok to be the breadwinner, the provider?”

“Yes,” she said, taking another puff and another shot. I fill her glass. “I told him that after I take my board, he can go back to school and take up nursing.”

“Does he want to?”

“He likes the idea of studying again,” she said… another shot.

“This is our third pitcher,” I said.

“Order one more,” she said. She has always been the heavier drinker. “I do have to tell you something, though.”

“What?”

“I told you and Lady Gaga that you will be my bridesmaids,” she started. “But my parents and his mother and aunties are insisting I get Robbie’s cousins and my cousins. I have never seen my cousins in years and now they will be the bridesmaids.”

“That’s okay,” I said. I hear a tinge of hesitation in her voice. I know what that is about but I’m not sure if she does. 

“You will still be the MC,” she said.

“Sure,” I said.

“You will give the toast,” she said. “You and Lady Gaga will be my wedding coordinator.”

“Sure,” I affirmed.

“We’ll go wedding gown shopping next week,” she said.

“Okay,” I said.

I actually dread having to wear a gown. So, this works good for me. What bothers me is that her parents and future husband’s parents are running her show and she still insists she’s fine. She constantly claims to be an independent woman, used to running her own life. Her future-in-laws aren't even her official in-laws yet and they are already making decisions for her.

I am not sure whether we have different definitions of what an independent woman is or she’s just too in love, too whipped, too excited for the future that she doesn’t see how her present is getting fucked.


*****


“Hi baby,” I said as soon as I see those round eyes on the screen. She cut her hair short.

“Hi ‘Nay,” Mari said as soon as she sees me. She's my adopted daughter. She calls me 'Nay'. She’s twirling, showing her hair. “Do you like it?”

“Of course. You look younger,” I push my laptop so I can lie down on my tummy. She’s pouting. She has been wanting to get a part-time job but she looks way too young for her age. Most of the companies she applied to turn her away immediately. She’s got thick lips and chubby cheeks. We have the same shade of brown skin, not too dark, not too light.

“I want to look older,” she said.

“Then you shouldn’t have cut your hair,” I said.

“Mommy said I should because it’s summer,” she said. She calls my mother mommy.

“Mom wants you to have a short hair because she has short hair,” I said.

“Well, I like it. Maybe I’ll just wait three more months before I look for a job… or color my hair so I look older,” she said.

“Don’t rush,” I said. “You’ll get there.”

“Will I like it?” She asked, as she goes back in the screen with a cup of ice cream.

“Depends on what you do now,” I said.

“Do you like it?” She said.

“Of course. I have you,” I said. I mean it. There are so many things I don’t like about being old but the one thing I like about it is having her especially in moments like this when I get to have an adult banter with her.

“Do you miss me?” She asked.

“Every minute,” I said.

“When will you come back?”

“I don’t know yet, baby… but I’ll try to get you here for a visit in two years,” I said.

“I’ll be old then,” she said.

“Then what will I be?”

“Older,” she said, smiling… teasing. “Don’t… grow old. Wait for me.”

“I am trying,” I said. “I listen to all the songs and watch all the videos you send me.”

“Can you differentiate 1D from JB?” She asked.

“What’s JB?”

“Jonas Brothers, duh.”

“No one calls them JB, you cheated,” I said.

“Yeah but you have to be fast and catch up on these things. Someone asked me if I have finstagram. Never heard of that word but I knew what it was instantly.”

“What’s finstagram?”

“Fake instagram.”

“That’s a stord,” I said.

“What’s a stord?”

“Stupid word. You have to be fast enough to catch up on these things, you old woman,” I said.

She didn’t reply… she couldn’t. She’s laughing so hard, she literally falls of her chair. I had her when I was 16. Her biological mother, my cousin, left her to my mother’s care to run an errand when she was literally a day old. She never came back.

We had to pull strings to get her birth certificate corrected so that it reflects my mom as her mother. I was still in college then but I co-parented with my parents until I finished college. Then, I became the parent, my parents became baby sitters. I think I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into then. Who knows anything when you’re 16, right? That’s probably how I managed to do it, raise a child when I was still a child. I didn’t know what I was about to do so I just winged it.

I wasn’t and still not an ideal mother but I don’t think I did so bad.

“Oh my god, that’s epic,” she said as she’s recovering from her laughing fit. “I miss you.”

“I love you,” I said.

“I love you, too,” she said and I feel it.   



"F" Chapter Guide



Fairlane Raymundo

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