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The Mask

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WARNING: MATURED CONTENT (SPG)

“Everyone has its own deepest secrets and the deceiving truth is undoubtedly the key to unveil it.”

...

Isang matinik na assassin noon si Georgina kasama ang apat niyang kapatid. Nang mamatay ang nobyo ay gumuho ang kaniyang mundo at nagdusa nang labis hanggang sa napabayaan ang organisasyon na kinabibilangan. Brutal ang naging pagkamatay ng dating nobyo at nais niyang hanapin at lutasin ang kaso na isang taon nang hindi narersulba ng mga awtoridad. Kaya naman gagawin niya ang lahat upang mahuli ang tunay na may sala. Subalit magawa niya kaya iyon gayong napalilibutan siya ng mga taong mapagpanggap at nakasuot ng kani-kanilang maskara?

Sa paglutas ng kaso ay nakilala niya ang isang binatilyong nagngangalang Tyrone Quidd. Mailap ito sa tao, tahimik at maraming nililihim. Kahit na minsan ay walang nakakita ng mukha nito dahil nagtatago ito sa isang itim na maskarang suot. Sino kaya ito at ano ang lihim na itinatago nito sa kaniya?

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The Mask I
“ARE YOU deaf!? I said leave!” Ang malakas na sigaw ni Georgina ang umalingawngaw sa loob ng kaniyang opisina matapos makatanggap ng isang balita. Naluluha ang mga mata na lumabas ang kaniyang sekretarya at bahagyang nanginginig ang katawan sa takot. Isang malalim na buntong hininga naman ang pinakawalan niya bago inis na bumalik sa kaniyang swivel chair. She tried to calm herself but can't make her mind peaceful. Anger and dissatisfaction eats her after Mr. Catakano denied her business proposal. Isang proposal na naglalayong bilhin ang isang malaking hektarya ng lupa sa Bulacan na pagmamay-ari ng lalaki. Ibinalita ng kanyang sekretarya na nais ng lalaki na pumayag si Georgina sa isang date bago tuluyang pirmahan ang papeles. “That's son of a bitch!” she screamed and gritted her teeth. Napahilamos siya ng palad sa mukha at malungkot na bumaling sa nag-iisang larawan na nakapatong sa kaniyang study table. Kinuha nya ito at matagal na pinagmasdan. Ilang sandali lamang ay nagbago ang ihip ng hangin sa kaniyang silid. Ang pait at sakit na naramdaman noon ay muling nanunumbalik sa kaniyang dibdib. “I really miss you,” bulong niya at niyakap ang litrato. Maya-maya lamang ay naisipan nyang kunin ang naitabi niyang journal ng nobyo, kung saan nakaipit sa kwadernong ito ang isang to-do-list na ginawa ng lalaki noong nabubuhay pa ito. “Buying that land in Bulacan that stolen from your parents. I will get lot for you no matter what. I’ll get it in any way,” wika niya at mapait na ngumiti. Kinuha nya ang telepono at agad idinial ang numero ng kapatid na si Wesley. She's two years younger than Wesley Lewis, the Spade of the Black Card, and their leader from the organization she was belong with. An assassination Group that runs by them. She taken the symbol of Club and her sister Wesley taken the symbol of Spade and the rest two symbols were taken by their twin sisters named Calixta Lewis and Celestine Lewis. Wala na siyang ibang alam na paraan upang mapapayag si Mr. Catakano sa nais niyang pagbili ng lupa nito kung hindi kausapin ang kanyang kapatid na si Wesley upang ito ang mag-asikaso dito. “Wesley.” “I smell something from the way you call my name.” Wesley chuckled. “Sorry, I just want to ask something from you. I need your help." “Anything, what is it?” “I’ll send you the information tonight, please do it quickly—” “You know how I work.” “Yeah! Thank you in advance." Matapos ang naging pag-uusap nila ni Wesley sa telepono ay saka lamang niya naisipang tumingin sa orasan. It’s 9:45 PM not so late for her since she used to work before until the sunset comes to shine her new day. Ngayong araw ay ninais niya ng umuwi ng maaga at magpahinga. Matapos ayusin ang gamit ay saka lamang siya lumabas ng opisina, hindi na siya nasurpresa pa nang makita ang sekretarya na nakaupo pa rin sa loob ng cubicle nito. Ito ang huling sekretarya na nagtagal sa pangit niyang pakikitungo at talagang inaantay siyang lumabas ng opisina bago magpaalam na umuwi. “Ms. President," bati nito na may malungkot na mukha, hindi siya nagpakita ng emosyon at nagtaas lamang ng kanang kilay bilang tugon. “Mag papaalam na p—" “Go!” she just simply replied and passed her. Might be mean, but it was her. Definitely. *** NAGLAKAD siya papalapit sa kaniyang itim na sasakyan, na nakaparada sa carpark ng pagmamay-ari niyang building. Kaagad siyang napahinto nang mapansin ng mapanuri niyang mga mata ang walang hangin na gulong ng kanyang sasakyan, kaagad siyang naalerto at lumapit upang suriin ito. It's flat! shit! Mabilis na nilibot ng kanyang paningin ang kabuoan ng parking lot upang hanapin kung sino man ang may gawa nito ngunit tila mag isa lamang siya sa kabuoan nito. Damn! Napamura na lamang siya sa isip at inis na sinipa ang gutter, ngunit ganoon na lamang pagtataka niya nang mapansin ang isang papel na nakaipit sa side mirror ng kanyang sasakyan. Walang ano man niya itong kinuha at mabilis na binuksan. DIE “The hell!" mahinang boses niyang mura at pinagngitngit ang mga ngipin. “Who the hell are you!? Stop messing around!” she shouted almost echoing. She immediately moved backward as she felt something in the air thrown from her side. They were trained in the dark of how to use their seven senses to protect their selves. Naging bihasa sila sa mga ganitong bagay kung kaya’t mabilis niyang naramdaman ang maliit na kilos ng kung sino man sa kanyang likuran at naiwasan ang maliit na kutsilyong inihagis sa kanyang kinaroroonan. Hindi na siya nag-abala pang habulin ang kung sino mang gumawa noon ngunit sinisigurado niya sa sarili na tatapusin ang buhay nito sa oras na maulit ang pagtatangka nito. “That bastard!” Pabagsak siyang umupo sa loob ng sasakyan at yumuko sa steering wheel. Mukhang kailangan niyang mag-commute ngayon pauwi ngunit tila pagod na ang kaniyang katawan kung kaya’t naisipan na lamang tawagan ang isang kaibigan upang sunduin siya. “Georgie, what happened?” ani ng kanyang baklang kaibigan na si Airish na hindi na nagdalawang isip at kaagad siyang pinuntahan. She's a transgender woman who earn million dollar in single artwork. A good artist abroad. She really transform herself to a real woman, that no one could suspense her from being a transwoman. “Someone broke my wheel,” she answered in exhausted. “God! So stupid, where's the head?” Her friend know her ability how well-trained she was as an assassin. “Insane, hindi ko na siya hinabol. I’m tired.” “Alright! sa bahay kana umuwi para mas malapit dito.” “Sure, I have no plan to go to work tomorrow. May mga bagay akong dapat asikasuhin," tugon niya at hindi na nag-atubili pang sumakay sa sasakyan ng kaibigan at sinubukang magpahinga. Isinandal niya ang likod sa backrest ng upuan at bahagya itong ibinaba. “You look so exhausted.” “Yeah. I feel so impotent,” sagot niya at nagmulat ng mata. Tumingin siya sa labas at pinigil ang maluha. “It's been a year pero wala parin akong nagagawa para kay Jed. Sinusubukan kong tapusin ang lahat ng bagay na nasa bucket list nya pero bakit hindi ko magawang makuntento," she added. “Dahil hindi pa rin nabibigyang hustisya ang pagkawala niya." “Exactly! pero isang taon na Airie at wala pa ring maayos na report ang mga kinuha kong tauhan para imbestigahan ang kaso niya. Maybe it's time for me to do the action, sinayang ko lamang ang pera at panahon ko sa kaaantay.” “Kung bakit ba naman kasi ayaw mong lumapit sa mga kapatid mo para matulungan ka?” “Masiyado nang maraming trabaho si Wesley sa organisasyon at gano'n din si Celestine at Calixta. Ayokong maabala pa sila.” “What’s your plan?” “I’ll work his case, para ano pa na naging assassin ako kung hindi ko kayang bigyan ng hustisya ang pagkamatay ng taong mahal ko. I promised him a justice and I wil give it to him.” Hindi na umimik pa ang kaibigan, batid nito ang tunay na pagkatao nya maging ang mga kapatid nito. Higit na pinagkakatiwalaan n’ya ito sa kahit sino man sa paligid nya bukod sa kanyang tatlong kapatid. “He will received his justice no matter what!” bulong niya sa sarili at desidido na gawin ang lahat para makuha ang bagay na ito. “You will be needing a lot of time to do it, pano ang kumpanya? I heard na may bago kayong product na ilalabas ngayong buwan ito.” “Yeah, that's why I really felt so drowning. We are all busy in the company. Nasa US si Celestine para sa promotion ng product at busy naman si Calixta at Wesley sa organisasyon. I have no one to lean my work with.” “Hep! Hep! Nakakalimutan mo ata ako? Nagtrabaho din ako sa LGC (Lewis Group of Company) noon, magsabi ka lang I can be your proxies.” “Bright idea! attend my meeting tomorrow.” ... “WHAT ARE you doing?” Airish asked, as she saw Gerogina on the middle of the living area, facing her laptop and trying hard to figure out things about Jed's case. “I can't sleep,” Georgina answered her and leaned her head on Airish shoulder when she finally sat beside her. She tapped her head softly and felt her comfort. “What do you think Jed’s doing now?” she asked again out of nowhere while she was been comforted by her friend Airish. This is the only person she have now. A very good friend of her ever since they were in college. “Looking at you and sad watching you in burden,” Airish mouthed “I don't know what to do now, or where should I start to do research,” she said almost whispering, her body is so tired of everything, she wants to take a rest with his beloved fiance Jed. “Hmm, I don't know how may I able to help you Georgie. As what you can see, I am nothing, so I can only help you to other things you are working in your company. Stay strong for Jed, you have to find justice for him,” Airish told her and slowly massaging her hair to comfort her. “Let's sleep,” she added and tapped her shoulder. “Maybe later, I will just study what I have on my laptop now. Thanks for your time Airish. If without you, I don't know to whom I will spill what is inside me, and what keeps on bothering me” “Insane, It was nothing! you are my sister, maybe not in blood but in my heart you are. Goodnight my baby Georgie." Airish stood up and started to walk on stairs. She's on her deep sighing and faced her laptop again, where she was studying some of the evidence gotten from the crime scene. She illegally took copy of those to start studying. “Maybe I can start with this Jed,” she whispered. She wants to study it repeatedly for this night. She wants to get a small hint to where she needs to start her research and find out the real culprit. I will find justice for you no matter what.

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