I saw how his eyes flared with pure, hot fury as he looked at Raven. I shook like a leaf while hugging Arthur in my arms.
“Mommy, what’s happening?” Arthur innocently asked, oblivious of what was happening around him. “Why are there a lot of people?”
“Audrey…” I flinched when I felt a hand touch my shoulder. I turned and saw Mama, she pulled me to her.
“Audrey, Arthur…” Callum’s voice croaked with tears. He took a step towards me and the men aimed their guns closer to him. He paused.
“Audrey, let’s go…” Nanginginig ang boses na sabi ni Mama. “Your Dad will take care of everything.”
“Ipasok niyo si Arthur, Drey. Sumama kayo sa Mama mo.” Dad protectively stood in front of us. Hindi agad ako nakagalaw sa kinatatayuan ko.
“Drey, didn’t you hear what I just said? Pumasok kayo ni Arthur sa loob!” Dad growled.
I took in a deep breath and handed my son to Mama. “Ma, take Arthur inside.”
“Audrey…” She worriedly said.
“I want to watch.” I firmly said as I looked at Callum straight in the eyes.
Dad turned his head to look at me and I looked at him. He knew. He knew I wanted to see them be taken away. Gusto kong makita sila na magbayad sa kahayupang ginawa nila sa akin. I was treated worse than an animal. Hindi ko alam na ang lalaking nakakasama ko araw-araw, ang lalaking pinakasalan ko, ang lalaking minahal ko ang gumawa sa akin ng kawalanghiyaang iyon. I wanted to see him pay. Wala akong maramdaman na kahit katiting na pagmamahal para kay Callum. I just wanted him to pay for everything that he did to me.
“Cass, ipasok mo na si Arthur. Ako na ang bahala dito.” He told Mama.
Mama quickly took Arthur from me and they were assisted in by some of Dad’s men.
“Did you fucking think I was that stupid to fully trust you with my daughter and Arthur. Nagsimula na akong maghinala simula ng tumawag sa’yo ang kidnapper. I had your calls monitored and recorded. Lahat ng galaw mo pinabantayan ko. I had you investigated and found out that you didn’t mention to us about your family. You share a mother with one of the people I regret ever meeting in my life. I needed evidence, I can’t just point fingers at people, but you were very careful these past few days. Hindi mo alam kung anong pagpipigil ang ginawa ko para hindi ka mapatay sa tuwing nakikita kita. Nakaramdam ka na ba na naghihinala na ako sa’yo? Thank your friend here for selling you out.” Sabi ni Dad.
“Fuck you, Cordova!” Raven shouted. “You did this! Ikaw ang may kasalanan kung bakit nangyari yun sa anak mo! Si Audrey ang kabayaran sa lahat ng kahayupan mo!”
“You son of a bitch!” Dad charged at him, wrapping his fingers around his neck. He raised his fist and punched him square on the jaw. “Ano bang kasalanan ko sa inyo at pati ang anak ko dinamay niyo? Sana ako na lang!”
Raven just let out a laugh as blood oozed out from the corner of his mouth. “AKO! Ako ang kasalanan mo sa kanila! I’m your son! Ako ang anak na hindi mo pinanagutan kay Tiffany Garcia! You made my mother a mistress and when you were done with her, tinapon mo siya na parang basura. Ikaw ang dahilan kung bakit nabaliw siya!”
I took in a sharp breath. Dad just stood there, motionless, for a few seconds.
“I guess we can call it quits now, Cordova. You have a son in our family and I have a son in yours.” Callum’s voice was cold and without emotion.
I wept even harder at what he said. It felt even worse hearing it from him. Hearing those words from the man I gave my full trust to and loved. He was the one who ruined me and then he walked into my life acting like my knight in shining armor. I let him into my life and my family’s.
“Hayop ako! Napaka-demonyo mo! Binaboy mo ako! I trusted you! Pinaglaruan niyo ko! Mga hayop kayo!” I broke down. Gigil sa galit na pinagsasampal ko siya. He just stayed still with head hung low.
Dad caught me in his arms and held me in a tight embrace. He kissed my hair softly and hushed me. After a few minutes, I finally calmed down and came back to my senses. Unti-unti akong binitawan ni Dad ng maramdaman niya iyon at muling hinarap ang demonyong iyon.
“I’ll call it quits when I kill you!” Dad snarled at Callum. He punched Callum in the face as the securities held him down. He shot his head up, looking straight into Dad’s eyes without a single hint or remorse on his face. The darkness of them only intensified even more.
“Go ahead. Just fucking kill me. End it now.” Naghahamon na sabi ni Callum.
Dad cupped his jaw and held it firmly in his hand. “I’m not stupid. Death is too easy for you. Pahihirapan muna kita. I will make you taste hell, Callum. I will make you beg for your own death.”
And I wanted to be there to witness it all. All the love I felt for him disappeared in a snap. Walang natira sa dibdib ko kung hindi poot para sa kanya. I hated him. I hated him with every ounce of my soul.
Callum groaned and sagged when Dad’s fist landed a brutal punch to his gut. Then he turned his head to Callum’s nephew. “Hindi kita anak. Wala akong anak kay Tiffany. Wala akong anak sa kahit sinong babae bukod sa asawa ko.”
“How fucking dare you deny him? Hanggang ngayon ba itatanggi mo pa rin na ikaw ang ama niya. You ruined our lives! You had my sister locked up in jail after you were through with her! She tried countless of times to kill herself! Hindi niya nakayanan ang ginawa mo at nawala siya sa pag-iisip niya! Aren’t you going to ask how my sister is now? She’s at a hospine in a permanent vegetative state with no chance of recovery. She tried to kill herself by jumping through the window of the mental hospital she was put in and she survived. She can’t walk, she can’t, she can’t even eat! You gave her worse than death, Cordova!”
“Hindi ko kasalanan ang mga nangyari sa kapatid mo. Your sister tried to kill my son and my wife! She killed his father!” He looked at Raven. “Hindi ako ang ama mo. Si Stephan ang ama mo! I will prove it through a DNA test! Kapag napatunayan ko sa’yo na hindi kita anak, isasama kita sa hayop na demonyong ito! You’ll regret the day you were ever born.”
“Walang kinalaman si Raven dito! This idiot tried to save your daughter from me!” Asik ni Callum. “Sa akin ka magalit! Ako ang pahirapan mo pero huwag mong idamay si Raven!”
The police soon arrived and everyone was asked to leave. Callum and Raven were taken away and Dad and his friends went with them. Dad told me to stay in and had his men surround and guard our house. What was supposed to be one of the happiest day of my life quickly turned sour. Sinalubong ako ng yakap ni Mama pagpasok ko sa bahay. I collapsed and cried in her arms. My siblings just sat around us in silence, no one dared to ask anything except Arthur.
He walked into the living room and saw me crying. He squeezed between Mama and I and hugged me. “Mommy, why are you crying?”
I shook my head as sobs rose from my throat. “Bakit hindi ka pa natutulog?”
“Because I want to sleep with you and Dr. Daddy.” He muttered in a tired tone.
Mama and I looked at each other, our eyes spoke to one another. I took in a deep breath, knowing I had to do this. I cupped my son’s face and kissed him on the lips.
“Arthur baby, si Dr. Daddy hindi na babalik.” My voice trembled in tears. “Okay lang naman na tayo na lang, hindi ba? Tayo nila Mama at Daddy at nila Ate Ronnie? I know I hadn’t been a perfect mother to you but I promise I will love you until my time comes to an end. You will be the most important person in my life. Ikaw lang. My one and only sunshine that brought light into my world.”
“Bakit hindi na babalik si Dr. Daddy?” The corners of his lips tugged downwards.
“It’s hard to explain but you need to understand that this is for your own good. Wala akong gusto kung hindi ang magkaron ka ng masayang pamilya. Gusto kong makabawi sa mga pagkukulang ko sa’yo. I want to give you a complete family but I’m afraid it won’t happen anymore.”
“Don’t say that. Nandito kami ng Daddy at mga kapatid mo.” Sabi ni Mama. She took us in her arms and embraced us.
My siblings all stood around. Kuya Miggy buried his face into his palms, hiding his tears. Coco was crying his eyes out and didn’t make an effort to hide it.
“Ate…” Ronnie hugged us, sobbing.
Hindi na din nakapagpigil si Coco. He sobbed like a little boy as he wrapped his arms around us and then Kuya Miggy soon followed after. I felt love surrounding me. But the warmest of them all was from the little man I had in my arms. Kay Arthur. I knew I wouldn’t need anything else with them by my side. My family were all I ever needed. There were a lot of tears poured that night but a lot of love too
Dad only came home the next day. I waited for him all night and called on him repeatedly. He kept telling me that he was fine and everything was going alright. He promised justice for me and I knew he’d keep his promise.
Sinalubong niya ako ng halik sa ulo. He looked really tired, like he’d carried the whole world on his shoulders.
“Nakakulong na ba siya?” I asked without flinching. It was funny that just yesterday I was so in love with him but now I felt nothing for him. The love for him that once occupied my heart just felt empty, hollow. Wala akong maramdaman kung hindi galit. I wanted to rage. I wanted to see him suffer like how I did.
“Sweety, he’s paying for what he did to you. Daddy’s doing everything I could.” Dad said, talking to me like I was a little girl again. A little girl who’d scraped her knees and was crying for him.
“Gusto ko siyang makita, Dad.” I buried my face into his chest and cried. My fingers closed in on his shirt. Nanggigigil ako sa galit sa tuwing babalik sa isip ko ang lahat. My flesh shook with so much anger boiling inside me. “Daddy, hayop sila. Binaboy nila ako! Pinaglaruan nila ako! I want them to pay! I want to see them pay!”
“They can’t hurt you now, I promise. Daddy’s here.” Marahang sabi ni Dad. I could hear how much he was trying not to cry. “Drey they are not in prison. I didn’t put them in prison.”
Bigla akong natigil sa pag-iyak at nag-angat ang tingin ko sa kanya. “Dad? Why? Where are they now?”
Dad swallowed, his adam’s appled bobbed up and down. “They’re at Wayne’s warehouse. Prison would be to easy for them. It would not end that way for them. Hindi ko hahayaan na ganon na lang ang mangyari sa mga lumapastangan sa’yo. I want to take justice in my own hand.”
“Dad…” I breathed out.
“I won’t let them get away with hurting you.” Dad’s eyes were red with tears as they looked into mine. He cupped my face and tears started to pour from his eyes. “I won’t make things easy for them. They will pay hell for what they did to you, do you understand?”
There was livid promise in his eyes and voice as he said those words. His eyes were burning, anger seeping from them. I knew he meant every letter in it. I knew he’d be ready to kill for me.
“I- I want to see him… them…”
“Are you sure?”
Dad’s car stopped in front of the huge secluded warehouse where Tito Wayne. There were guards guarding the outside of it, holding huge guns in their hands. I turned my head to Dad, not sure what to expect.
“I don’t want you to see this but you asked for it…” His voice croacked.
“Dad, gusto kong makita ang taong gumawa sa akin ng kahayupan. Gusto kong makita siyang naghihirap.” My jaw clenched. I didn’t think of him as Callum anymore. As the Callum I married, the man I made love with you every night and the man I planned my future with. It was as if memories of him were erase from my mind. He was nothing more than a rapist and he would never mean anything to me more than that.
He kissed my forehead before pushing the car door open. I willed myself to open mine and stepped out of the car. Dad and I walked to the warehouse’s gate and we were quickly let in.
We were guarded by Dad’s men as they took us to where Callum was. And I saw him. He was black and blue, blood dripping from his body. His body pulled was slumped with only two chains that tied around both his wrists holding him up. Nakayuko ang ulo niya, he was unconscious.
I did not feel anything as I watched him. The inhumane things they did to him was written all over his body but I couldn’t find it in my heart to feel anything right now. I just went numb.
“Bakit pinagpahinga niyo ang hayop na yan?” Dad angrily asked.
One of the guards tazed him and he let out a scream, bringing him back to consciousness.
“Is this what you want to see, Audrey?” Dad’s face hardened, his eyes on Callum. “He’s not human. Do not look at him as a human being. This is the man that abducted you. He was the one who repeatedly raped and tortured you.”
Callum lifted his head up and looked at me. “Audrey…”
I swallowed, feeling my throat clench.
“I- I’m sorry…” He struggled to say.
“Walanghiya kayo!” I charged at him and started slapping him. “Walang kapatawaran ang ginawa niyo sa akin! Not even death is enough! Bakit ginawa mo sa akin yun? Bakit ako? Ano bang naging kasalanan ko sa inyo?”
His eyes lowered to the ground and tears started dripping from his eyes. His tears made him more human and I hated it. I hated feeling pity for him. Hindi siya naawa noong ginahasa at sinaktan nila ako. Why should I feel pity for this monster in front of me?
Napuno ng galit ang puso ko ng muling bumalik sa isip ko ang ginawa nila sa akin. They burned me. They put piercing on my genitals. They put things inside me.
“Walanghiya kayooo!” I screamed in front of him. I screamed so hard it scratched my throat and made it raw. I screamed until my body dropped to the ground and Dad quickly caught me. “Demonyo ka! Hayop ka! Nirape niyo ko!”
“Shhh…” Dad tried to soothe me by rubbing my arms and kissing me on the hair. Tears fell from his eyes as he tried to calm me. “I will make him pay. You’ll see. Kayang-kaya kong gawin ang kahit ano para sa’yo. Kaya kong pumatay para sa’yo.”