An Ashlloyd Story
This story is sort of similar to the What If series I wrote, although it just takes another route. I’m still along the lines of what if they’re not the famous personalities that they are right now. The question again is, would their hearts find their way to each other?
What if he’s not the John Lloyd Cruz and she is not the Sarah Geronimo? What if they were just ordinary human beings brought together by fate and circumstance inside Big Brother’s House? The year is 2013. Sarah Asher Geronimo and John Lloyd Cruz joined the PBB to fulfill their dreams.
The Housemates (HM)
BB (Big Brother)
The first time he became aware of her presence, he heard her rather than saw her. He was the last one called inside BB’s house and when he was opening the door and walking through the hallways, he heard her laughter. He paused for a while to listen to it. Laughter so pure and unrestrained he had to know who it came from. When he came around the corner, he saw the housemates huddled together in the center of the living room. They were so busy talking to each other that no one seemed to notice that he came in. Except for her. The girl with the beautiful laugh. Something made her look up and when she did, she gazed into his soulful eyes. She stopped laughing. He did not utter a word and neither did she, both oblivious of the people around them until Vhong looked to where she was staring and immediately announced to everyone, “Hey, the last one’s in.” Lloydie smiled and waved and introduced himself to everyone.
As he was talking, she saw a mischievous glint in his eyes, something she was not able to notice when she first laid eyes on him. Soulful and yet mischievous eyes. Now that’s something she rarely saw. The other housemates were introducing themselves to him and when it was her turn, Shin had to say loudly to her, “Sarah, aren’t you gonna introduce yourself to Lloydie?” She was brought out of her reverie and said to him, “ Hello Lloydie, I’m Sarah.”
She can’t be named Sarah, he thought. No way. He had always liked the name Sarah. Someone once asked him why he liked the name and he wasn’t able to give him a clear answer. He just liked the sound of it, the way the syllables would glide out of his mouth when he pronounces the name. Sarah.
JM: So, did you leave someone special outside?
JLC: Yes and No.
JM: Yes and No? You can’t answer that question with a yes and ano. It either has to be a yes or a no.
JLC: Well, I have a girlfriend but I’m not sure if she still can be called one when we have not had a decent conversation in weeks.
JM: What happened?
JLC: She wants to go abroad and she wants to break up with me because she says it’s unfair if we tie each other up when we will be far apart.
JM: So you broke up?
JLC: She wanted to but I kind of did not agree to it and we had a row weeks ago and we haven’t spoken to each other since.
YC: So, why did you join?
SG: Oohh it’s quite embarrassing. I’m actually here because I really love to sing and well . . . . . . . . . Yeah, I really love to sing. I think that this could give me an opportunity.
YC: Really? Can you please sing me a song?
SG: Oh no. I’m not sure about that
YC: Come on, if you really want to be a singer, you have to let go of those inhibitions. Come on Sarah, I’m your audience. Sing to me.
SG: Okay, what do you want me to sing?
YC: Anything that your heart desires.
And Sarah sang I’ll Be There from her favorite artist of all time, Michael Jackson. As she was singing the first stanza, Lloydie heard her from the kitchen. He followed her voice to the living room where Sarah was hanging out with Yeng. Without alerting either of them to his presence, he just stood there along the corridor, listening to the most angelic voice he had ever heard. Her voice transported him to a place so wonderful he could not even begin to describe it. When Sarah finished the last stanza, Lloydie decided that I’ll Be There is now his favorite song.
JLC: What do you usually have for breakfast?
SG: I love Filipino food. Anything with rice.
JLC: Rice? Most women avoid eating rice.
SG: I’m not like most women.
And remembering her angelic voice, her laugh and her smile, Lloydie could not help but say
JLC: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. You, Sarah Geronimo, are definitely not like most women.
SG: What do you do best?
SG: Really? What kind?
JLC: Uhhmm, hip-hop.
He had that mischievous glint in his eyes and knew she had been had. She started to hit him with her hands
JLC: Hey, hey, hey. There goes that hand again. You know the first thing I’ll do when I get out of this house? I’ll sue you. Sue you for premeditated assault! Those morning rice-meals are really coming into play now huh?
JLC: Why do you like white?
SG: Lots of reasons.
JLC: Did you know that when you combine all the colors in the color wheel, it could turn out either black or white?
SG: Really? You are amazing. You seem to know everything.
JLC: Not everything. But right now, there is only one thing in the world I wish I knew something about.
SG: What’s that?
JLC: What’s going on in that mind of yours. But you still haven’t answered my question.
SG: What question?
JLC: Why do you like white?
SG: Why do you think I like white?
JLC: You could be a good shrink, you know. Answer a question with a question. You know what, I think it’s the other way around. The color white likes you. Pure heart, good soul, wonderful person.
SG: I’m not as white as you think I am Lloydie. I have my spots too.
JLC: I’ll take everything of you Sarah, spots and all.
BB: I seem to see you talking a lot more to Lloydie than to any other housemates
SG: Is that good or bad?
BB: You tell me
SG: I don’t know BB. It’s just that something draws me to him. I enjoy his company, enjoy talking to him. One moment he could make me laugh at the most over-used jokes and the next moment he could make me contemplate the reasons for my existence.
It was one of those days when the rain just kept pouring, as if it had an endless source. As he was about to make sure the door to the garden was closed, he saw someone sitting on one of the benches, getting drenched. As he looked more closely, he realized that it was Sarah.
JLC: Hey Sarah! Get inside! You’ll get sick!
SG: It’s okay Lloydie. I’m okay
JLC: Why are you staying out here?
SG: Lloydie, really, I’m fine here.
Shaking his head in frustration, Lloydie went out to her.
JLC: Okay then, if you plan to get wet, mind if I join you?
Scooting over, she said,
SG: You could sit here.
After a moment, he asked
JLC: Why are you doing this?
SG: I want to feel the rain Lloydie. Really feel it. Feel its drops hitting my face, my arms, my legs. Some people don’t like the rain. It causes inconveniences in their daily existence. But I love it. Smell it Lloydie. Smell the rain. It has the most wonderful scent in the world.
And Lloydie was looking at Sarah as if seeing her for the first time. Her face had the look of sheer happiness. And at that moment, he realized that this girl is nothing like anybody he has met before. She is a paradox, a contrast unto herself. One moment, you feel like you’re with a sixteen year-old with the way she laughs at the most mundane of jokes and the next moment you feel like you’re with someone who has been through things that only an old soul could have gone through.
And then he felt the oddest thing. At first, he could not discern what it was. John Lloyd Cruz felt this unknown feeling while the rain was pouring down on him, pelting his face, his arms and his legs. He smelled the rain. And Sarah was right. It had the most wonderful scent in the world. And then he realized what it was that he felt.
It was love.
Love for this amazing, extra-ordinary woman sitting beside him. Pure love, the kind that he has never experienced before, the kind that envelopes his whole being.
And he knew from this moment on that every time a raindrop falls from the sky, only one person’s face would surface in his memory.
JLC: You, Sarah Geronimo, are one of a kind.
And they both stayed there until BB called them to go inside.
JLC: What’s your song right now?
SG: Before we came in here, I watched a video of Anna and the King. I quite liked the song during the last part
JLC: What’s the song?
SG: How Can I Not Love You
JLC: Can you sing it?
SG: I don’t know if I can.
JLC: Why? Is it a hard song to sing?
SG: Yes Lloydie, it is.
JLC: If there is one place in the world that you haven’t been to and that you’re dying to go, where would it be?
JLC: Wow, I guess we’ll see each other there. Paris is one of my favorite cities. There’s something magical about Paris.
SG: Okay, we’ll set a date. And Forks.
SG: Forks, Washington.
JLC: The rainy state?
JLC: Why am I not surprised?
SG: What are you dying to eat right now?
JLC: Peanuts! Yeah, I love them. How about you?
SG: Crackers with caviar.
JLC: Aahh. Food befitting a princess, I should say.
SG: Let’s make a deal. Whoever ends up longer here at the house gets to buy the other the food that they want when they get out. Deal?
JLC: Deal. But it has to be a kilo of peanuts to match a single cracker with caviar.
SG: I’m sorry about yesterday.
JLC: It’s okay.
SG: But you don’t look okay.
JLC: How would you know?
SG: Your eyes. I don’t see them smiling.
JLC: So make me smile. That’s your task.
SG: So are you like BB now?
Imitating BB’s deep voice, he said
JLC: Sarah, you need to make Lloydie smile within one hour without touching him and without the assistance of any of the HM’s.
She decided to go along with him on this one.
SG: Okay, Lloydie. I want you to close your eyes. Then imagine that you are in Paris. It’s nine in the evening and you just had dinner at one of Paris’ finest restaurants. You are now walking along one of its streets, basking in the beauty of this marvelous city. Of course walking along the streets of the most romantic city in the world without someone’s hand to hold on to would be incomplete. So imagine yourself gazing up at the Eiffel tower holding her hand.
JLC: Her hand?
SG: Yes, her hand. The hand of the woman you want most in the world to be there with you in Paris.
JLC: And then?
SG: What do you mean ‘and then’?
JLC: The story’s not done yet. So whose hand am I holding Sarah?
SG: I can’t fill that one up for you Lloydie. Only you can finish that story.
He had not opened his eyes yet. After a moment, the beginnings of a smile started at the corners of his mouth until it became one of those trademark smiles of his.
SG: What are you smiling about?
He now opened his eyes and gazed at her for a long time. He looked as if there is nowhere in the world he would rather be right at this very moment than be here inside this house talking to and gazing at her.
JLC: I’m done with the story. That’s what I was smiling about.
SG: Okay then. Now I’ve made you smile. I’ve accomplished my task.
She was about to get up when he asked:
JLC: Aren’t you gonna ask me who I held hands with?
SG: No. And what makes you think I’m interested?
She smiled and he smiled back. If only she gave him that smile at the start of their conversation, she would not have had to make it such a task to make him smile. All it would take was a single smile from her and no matter if the world were crashing down on him, he would not be able to help himself. He would smile back. It was as if he had to mirror her smile every time that she does. He can’t help it. It seems like a disease he can’t cure, but a good disease nonetheless.
JLC: Yeah, you’re right. Why should you be interested?
She shrugged nonchalantly and she thought if only the movie critics could see her now, they’d give her an Oscar for this performance. Because her heart was beating so loud she could imagine Lloydie hearing it.
She may fool the others with her actions. But not him. Not John Lloyd Cruz.
SG: See you later Lloydie.
JLC: Uhhmm, Sarah?
He stood up and followed her. When he was right in front of her, he held his right hand out and asked her
JLC: May I hold your hand?
JLC: It doesn’t hurt to practice, you know. So that when we get to Paris, we’ll already get the hang of it.