Decoding The Boys – 1 

1 –  Weirdos
Javee De Villa

Uh oh.
‘Di yata namin masisimulan ‘yung game. Ten AM ang nasa schedule, almost 9:35 na. Tapos, wala pa kami sa Macapagal. Damn. First game pa naman ng Intersci ngayon. Ayokong malate! My brother would be playing today and I’d be doomed kung malalaman niyang pati ba naman dito ay mahuhuli ako!

Badtrip. Sunud-sunod na din ang mga texts sa’kin ng mga kaibigan ko. It wasn’t really my fault though, not really. Ito kasing si Lhyle, e. Ang tagal bago ako sinundo. He said he’d pick me up at around 8:30, dumating ba naman ng past nine. Heto tuloy. Dapat pala sumabay na lang ako kina kuya.

For the nth time, huminto kami dahil sa traffic jam. Napalingon ako kung nasan na kami. Yes! Macapagal na rin pala. If it kept up, aabot pa kami. Sana.
Kung hindi, malilintikan talaga sa’kin ‘tong kasama ko!

I frowned deeply and anxiously gripped my phone. The tisoy guy beside me sent a sidelong glance and smiled in mischief.

“Chill, J. ‘Di naman tayo mala-late,” Lhyle, my best friend, coaxed,”Relax ka nga lang d’yan. Nakaka-tensed ka e.”

Inirapan ko sya, kunwaring nakasimangot na. “Pag ako pinagalitan ni kuya, yari ka talaga sa’kin.”

Well, not really pagagalitan pero kahit na. Nakakaguilty pa rin na ma-late sa game nya, lalo na’t first game nya ‘to in this year’s UAAP. See, star player ng university namin si kuya Jacob and this was very special to him. Add pa the fact na nakasalalay dito ang dignity namin. It wasn’t new naman kasi na may bad rivalry talaga between Intersci and Centrex U. Though syempre, ganon naman talaga kapag UAAP season na. Hindi lang between us; even other universities have rivalries as well, ‘yun lang, mas maingay ang sa amin because of social media incidents.

That’s why excited din talaga akong manood ngayon. Bukod sa first time ko to watch a live match, I had to see this game because of some bet. For the longest time, my brother was bragging about this game kaya my sibs and I decided to play a silly bet. We need to guess kung ilang points ang maipapasok ni Kuya Jacob. I opted for twenty points just to play safe.

“Bakit? Ano’ng gagawin mo sakin?” sagot ni Lhyle, habang lumalawak ang ngiti.

I glowered at him.

Lhyle grinned. Sarap bigwasan.

In a beat, umandar na ulit ang traffic flow and fortunately, nagtuluy-tuloy na kaya nakarating na din kami sa MOA arena.

As soon as we parked the car, I ran my way inside. Mabuti na lang pala at naka white converse lang ako ngayon at ‘di yung usual boots na suot ko. Less hassle!

When we got in, relief immediately flooded me. ‘Di pa nagsisimula. Medyo sakto din yun dating namin dahil two minutes late lang naman.

Grabe. Iba pala talaga ang vibes ng UAAP, noh?

Kakapasok pa lang namin pero ramdam ko na yung tension at excitement. ‘Yung totoo. Lahat ng inis ko kanina nawala sa isang iglap. Nakakahawa yung atmosphere! Tas, halos dalawang kulay lang ang makikita ngayon, those that are supporting the Red centaurs (kalaban namin) and us, the blue Eagles. We went to the VIP area na, kung nasa’n ang mga kaibigan namin. May mga bumati on our way down. Medyo kilala kasi kami ni Lhyle sa campus.

And did I ever mention the guy’s a total player?

Our friends perked up when they saw us.

“Ang tagal nyo, girl,” agad na sabi ni Anjo nang makaupo na kami. “Anyare? Kinain lang ng daan?”

“Ang tagal nito e. Nakipagdate pa yata sa mga chics nya,” I shrugged. Lhyle just snickered.

“As usual,” Max said, rolling her eyes. “Dapat pala sa’min ka na sumabay.”

“Oo nga e. ‘Di bale, next time.” Tumawa ako, sabay tingin sa paligid.”Wait, ba’t ‘di pa nagsisimula?”

Anjo sighed. “Technical issues daw. Ang tagal nga e. Excited pa naman ako, fckers.”

Yes, sports junkies kaming magkakaibigan. It’s entirely the reason why we have boy nicknames kahit na puro babae kami. And what’s ironic? Si Lhyle na nag-iisang lalaki, sya pa ‘tong pambabae ang pangalan.

Weird, diba?

Si Anjo, (Angelou), is the to-go girl pag dating sa basketball. From animes down to local and international games, updated ‘yan. Her dad’s a coach kasi sa university namin.

Si Maxxie naman, (Maxinne), is our volleyball team’s captain ball. Sa’min lahat, sya ang pinaka-boyish kung kumilos but she’s a princess at heart.

Then there’s Hiro, (Hiromi), our Japanese tennis player. Fierce sa court, but outside those games? A total wallflower.

And the last, my best friend since elementary days.

Ahron, (Reah), is our student council president, campus queen, and a famous model. She doesn’t play any sports, like me, but we’re both into it just the same.
As for me, council treasurer ako and our dance troupe’s VP.
Si Lhyle, wala. Kina-career ang pambababae nya.

“Sino ba sinusuportahan mo?” I heard Hiro ask Anjo.

“Ano bang klaseng tanong yan? Syempre team natin. Duh!” Anjo replied, rolling her eyes.

Ahron smirked. “Really, now? Hindi si Racel Gutierez?”

Namula si Anjo. “Uy, hindi noh!”

Napatawa ako. “Talaga lang ah.”

“Oo nga, promise! Kainis kayo! Kahit gwapo si Racel, mas hot pa rin si Jacob noh!”

“Oo na, oo na,” natatawang sagot ko.

Matagal ko nang naririnig yung Racel Gutierez na ‘yon. Magaling nga daw at may hitsura. Well, considering na sya ang team captain ng kabila, baka nga. Nacurious tuloy ako bigla. Grabe kasi ang inis d’yan nina kuya, e.

“Pero real talk, mas gumaling daw yung kabilang team,” Max said suddenly.
“Dahil daw dun sa Justin. Bago ba nila ‘yon?”

“Mamaw yun, si Mercedez,” singit ni Lhyle. “This year lang sumali sa varsity nila pero magaling nga.”

“Wag nga kayo,” sabat ko. “Baka ma-jinx nyo pa.”
Nagtawanan sila.

“Oo nga naman. Nagagalit si boss oh. Sister complex,” biro ni Lhyle kaya inirapan ko na lang sya.

Suddenly, nag-vibrate ang phone ko.

Kuya Andrei:
Come outside.

Napakunot noo ko.

Me:
Why? Where?

Kuya Andrei:
Parking lot. Here with the others.

Huh. Anong meron? Bakit nasa labas pa sila e magsisimula na ‘yung game. Either way, nagpaalam ako sa mga kaibigan ko and did as told. Finding them was easy. May mga group of girls ba naman na nakapaligid. And they were also a tall, handsome bunch. Really hard to miss.

“Kuya!” sigaw ko, getting their attention.

Instantly, four heads turned to look at me. Nakakatuwa. Kumpleto kaming magkakapatid ngayon. Kumaway ako sa kanila. Napangiti naman sila at tumango sa’kin.

Lumapit ako, ignoring the girls whispering around us.

“What are you dudes doing here? Baka mag-start na yung game,” sabi ko nang makalapit ako.

I fist-bumped with them by way of greeting.

Kuya Travis smiled at me. Our eldest. “Moral support, bunso, bago magsimula ‘yung laro.”

“Mukhang kabado pa ‘tong si Jacob e. Sinamahan lang namin,” natatawang dagdag ni kuya Chris, pangalawa samin.

“Asa naman, tol,” sagot ni kuya Jacob. Then he told me, “Ang tagal mo. Kanina ka pa namin hinahanap. Ang liit kasi e, ang hirap makita.”

I frowned. “Kapal mo, kuya. ‘Di ko kasalanan na malalaki kayo. Wait up. Why are you still here? You should be inside na, warm ups and all.”

He flashed his infamous smirk, showing his biceps. “Wala e. Batas ‘to e.”

“‘Di nga?” I asked, incredulous.

“Oo nga,” sagot nya, habang nakangisi. “Tss. Wala ‘to. Walang tiwala sa kapatid nya.”

I wrinkled my nose. “Overconfidence results to defeat kasi.”

“Asa, ” snorted kuya Jacob. “I’mma beat those Cen U losers. Hintay ka lang, sis. Wala kang kabilib-bilib sa kuya mo e.”

Nagtawanan lang kami. All the while, pinagtitinginan kami ng mga tao. It felt unnerving kahit papano. Alam ko naman na may hitsura naman ako at marunong din makipagsabayan sa pagporma. Still, I didn’t like being stared at.

“Balita ko may bago daw sa kabila ah?” simula ni kuya Chris.

“Ah, ‘yung Mercedez?” Ngumisi si kuya Jacob. “Wala naman ‘yun. Kahit magsama pa sila ni Gutierez.”

“Just don’t lose your guard. You know better than that,” matahimik na dagdag ni kuya Andrei.

“Oo naman, tol. Ako pa ba?”
Kuya Jacob suddenly looked at his phone.
“Start na daw,” he announced. “I better get going.”

“Good luck, kuya,” sabi ko, sabay yakap na rin.

“Galingan mo, bro,” Kuya Andrei said, his eye smile showing.

“Ikaw na bahala. Kaya mo yan.”
“Ipanalo mo, tol.”

We tapped his shoulder and entered the arena complex together. Pagkatapos, naghiwa-hiwalay na kami papunta sa kanya-kanyang mga kaibigan namin.

When I got back to my seat, Ahron faced me. “What’s up?”

“Moral support daw,” I said with a laugh.

“Seconds before the game?” She muttered, “Weirdos.”

‘Di na ‘ko nakasagot pa ’cause in a beat, the game finally started.

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