Thank You + Keeper for Keeps
Hello! First, I want to thank all of your for your birthday greetings and for those who tried to get me a mention from Neil and James! It doesn’t matter to me, but I really, really appreciate the effort!!! Kilala niyo na kung sino kayo. Love you, guys!
So sorry that I wasn’t able to update Keeper for Keeps for more than a week. I was really, really busy and has to beat a deadline. I have started writing Keeper for Keeps (Part 25) today and will hopefully post it on or before Sunday. Thank you for your messages!
P.S. You can catch me on Twitter too, by the way! ♡♡♡
Keeper for Keeps (Part 24)
“Aren’t you joining Si and the other guys for Manny Pacquiao’s fight in Vegas?” I asked Neil while we’re having breakfast at the balcony.
“Oh, that. I won’t be watching the fight anymore. I’d rather spend my time here with you. You see, I only have a few days left, and I don’t want to waste my time by watching a match instead of spending quality time with you.” he said.
“Are you sure? That’s once in a lifetime, Neil!” I said to him. I feel very flattered with what he said, though.
“I know, but this maybe my last time to spend time with you also. I’ll choose you over anything else, Nic. I want you—and yeah, I love you.” Neil said.
“Uh, I don’t know—“ I said.
“Shhh, you don’t have to say anything. It’s a statement, Nic, not a question. I just want to let you know how I feel for you, and I’m gonna wait for you to say I love you when you’re ready—if that time will ever come, that is.”
I want to say that I love him, but I still doubt my feelings for him now that my feelings for James slowly coming back. Ugh, why me? I just said nodded okay to him.
“Ooh, you and James have a fan page now!” Neil said while looking at his phone.
“What? Even James?” I asked him and checked out his phone.
“Yeah, someone tweeted—Team Neil and Team James.” he laughed.
“What the hell?” I laughed but I thought I shouldn’t be laughing. We checked the page and they posted photos of us when we went out last time.
“Er, this is weird.” I said. I decided to check my phone and read the tweets, and yeah, some were saying to give Neil or James to them once I’ve chosen one.
We really planned to just have an overnight stay in most of the places because we’re planning to visit as many places as we can, and stay longer in Boracay and Tarlac where his family lives. But now, we’ll be staying longer in Boracay and Cebu to join the team. Next stop for us is Zamboanga.
Neil wasn’t feeling well when we landed in Zamboanga. He got a massive headache and body pain, so we decided to just go to the hotel for him to be able to rest. After an hour or two, he got fever already. The meds I gave is obviously not working, so I asked the hotel if they could contact a doctor to check on Neil. I was getting worried, because he’s so hot—wait, he’s hot, but what I meant was his temperature—and I was just hugging him the whole time we were waiting for the doctor to arrive.
After awhile, the doctor came and checked on him. He said that Neil got fever because his body’s still adjusting from the cold weather in the UK to the excessively hot temperature we’re having here in the Philippines. The doctor left after giving prescription for Neil, and told me that if he doesn’t get better within 24 hours, he have to do some tests just to make sure that it’s nothing serious. He was still sleeping, so I went out for a while to get food for us and meds as well.
I came back in our room, and he’s calling my name.
“Nica…Nic…” he said. I hurriedly went to him to check what he needs.
“Hey, I’m here. How are you feeling now? I bought your meds and food. The doctor said you have to rest and drink lots of water so you won’t get dehydrated. He’s gonna do some tests if you’re still the same within 24 hours.” I said to him.
“Still bad but I’m feeling better than earlier.” he said. “Please just stay here. I don’t want to be alone.”
“I won’t go anywhere else, Neil. Wait, you eat first so you can drink your meds already.” I said to him and kissed him on the forehead. I’ve never imagined that this massive man is like a baby when he’s sick.
“I called your mum and dad earlier to tell you that you’re sick. They were very worried about you, and told me to take care of you while we’re away.” I said.
“Aww, you shouldn’t have called them. I have a great nurse. Sorry for ruining our trip.” Neil said.
“What are you saying? Of course, you didn’t! You just have to eat now, okay? So you can drink your meds and feel better later on.” I said to him.
“Thank you for taking care of me.” Neil kissed me on the cheeks and hugged me.
“Don’t worry about it.” I said and smiled at him.
Keeper for Keeps (Part 23)
Neil was still sleeping when I woke up, so I was just staring at him and asking myself if he’s really the one for him. I was so sure that he is the one I want to be with until James enter the picture. He may look strong and all outside, but he’s got a good heart inside. The idea of hurting him kills me, and it’s giving me a tough time who to choose between the two guys. My phone rang and it was James. I went outside because I don’t want to wake up Neil.
“Hey, James!” I said.
“Hey, good morning! I hope I didn’t wake you up.” he said.
“No, you didn’t. What’s up?” I asked.
“Good. Nothing, I just want to hear your voice the first thing in the morning. How about Neil? Still sleeping?” he asked.
“He’s still sleeping. He must be all tired from last night.” I said.
“Hmm.” James said, and then I realized what I’ve said.
“No, it’s not what you’re thinking. He surprised me with a dinner by the beach, so yes, that’s it.” I said.
“I should’ve been the one surprising you, Nic. If only I went back earlier. I was planning to spend my free time with you, but then, you’re there and won’t be seeing you after a month. ” James said in a serious tone.
“Oh, that. I think I’m gonna go back in Manila by May 15. Uh, Neil has to leave for England. He’s signing a new contract for Fulham and will be staying there for two weeks.” I said in a sad tone.
“Really? But how about your trip?” he asked.
“I don’t think I want to go on a trip alone now. I’ve changed my mind. Maybe I’ll just wait for him when he comes back, or I don’t know. Neil and I haven’t talked about it yet.” I saw Neil and he kissed me.
“See you soon, then. Oh, Nic, I have to go now. Ryan, Si, and I are heading to the gym. Please say hi for me to Neil. Bye!” he said.
“Okay, regards to them.” I said.
“Good morning! Who’s that?” Neil asked.
“Good morning! That was James. He said hi, by the way.”
“Hey, I want you to continue the trip.” Neil said to me.
“I don’t think I want to do that without you anymore. I don’t want to travel alone now.” I said.
“You won’t. I’ll talk to James. I don’t want your ninong to be mad at me. So, I guess there should be a substitute for me who’s from the team also for the endorsement. I think James will be a good travel buddy for you.” he said.
“What? James? Are you seriously asking me to travel with him for 15 days?” I asked.
“Yes, James. He’s your bestfriend, and he’s a good man. I know I might regret this in the future, but yeah, James.”
“I know he is a good man, but I don’t think it’ll help me decide.” I said to him.
Neil didn’t answer. He just smiled at me and grabbed his phone to call James.
“Hey, mate! Can I ask for a little favor?” Neil said to James on the phone. I cannot believe him.
“Sure, what is it?” James asked.
“You see, I’ll be gone for two weeks, and I don’t want Danica to travel alone or postpone our supposedly trip. I want you to join her, if that’s alright with you.”
“Me? Are you serious? Not that I don’t want to, but are you really asking me that? Because I wouldn’t say no. You know how I feel for her, man.” James said.
“I am, mate. It’s a deal, then.” Neil said to him.
“Nic, listen to me, if it happens, it happens. I’m going to accept whatever it is that’s going to happen when I come back. At least I know you’re safe with him. James has my respect, and if he does something wrong to you, he knows what I’m going to do.” Neil said to me.
“Okay, then, Etheridge.” I replied to him.
“Now, c’mon and let’s have breakfast already. I’m excited for Cagayan de Oro later for white water rafting.” he said. I’m so sure he doesn’t want to talk about it, so I didn’t bother bringing it up again. I don’t want to ruin our day. And yes, he’s right! My ninong has already prepared everything for this trip, so he might just as well get a substitute for him.
First thing we went to was Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country Club, because Neil loves playing golf aside from football, and basketball. I watch my dad sometimes whenever he plays golf with friends or my uncles, but I really find it boring. But one thing I love about it is the golf course itself—I just want to lie on the grass, or just drive around.
“I’ll teach you how to play golf.” Neil said.
“Sorry, but golf is boring. Dad tried to teach me how to play golf when I was a kid, but no.” I said.
“It looks boring but once you start playing it , you’ll understand. Please?” Neil said.
“Alright, alright. Show me how it’s done, Leonard.” I said to him and smiled.
I ate my words after a few rounds.
“Someone’s enjoying this.” Neil said and laughed at me.
“Fine, I am enjoying this. This is fun, but still not as fun, fun, fun.” I said to him and laughed.
“Whatever, babe.” he said and kissed me.
We went back to hotel to prepare for white water rafting. People have been telling that you must try it once you’re here in Cagayan de Oro. I was scared at first, but then Neil assured me that this will be fun, and will be an awesome experience.
I really don’t why I trust this guy so much, but he’s always been right. I love how he can easily convince me to do something that I don’t think I’m gonna do when other people say it.
After white water rafting, we went to different caves and falls around the area, and went to this park called Vicente de Lara Park. It was beautiful. We stayed there for awhile. I don’t think we can do this in Manila, but I was wrong. A few minutes later, people were starting to look at us—at Neil. Ahh, this man caught the attention of other park-goers. A little boy asked if he was Neil Etheridge from the Azkals, and Neil replied yes to him. The boy called his mum to take their photo, and then other people started coming to him too.
“Sorry, guys, we have to go back to our hotel now.” he said to the other fans.
“Neil!” I said to him. I don’t want us to leave, but he’s right. So many people were trying to block our way outside the park to take photos. Good thing our driver helped us to get in the car as fast as we can.
“Oh, sorry for that.” Neil said to me.
“No, it’s alright, Neil.” I smiled at him.
We had dinner when we went back to the hotel, and decided to sleep early to catch tomorrow’s sunrise. He’s not a morning person, but he said he’s gonna try to wake up early.
I woke up in the middle of the night, and can’t go back to sleep. I just checked on Twitter and Facebook to update my friends. A few minutes later, people started to tweet me again asking how’s my trip with Neil. I can’t believe they are still awake. Later on, James called me.
“Why are you still awake?” James asked.
“I can’t go back to sleep.”
“Uh, Nic, are you sure that Neil wants me to accompany you?” he said.
“He said he is okay with the idea even if he might regret it later on.” I said to him.
“How about you? Are you okay with that?”
“Honestly, no. It will only be harder for me to decide, but yeah. I don’t mind as long as you’ll promise to me that you’re gonna be a good boy.” I laughed.
“Of course, I am!” James said.
“Yeah, how can I believe you when you just tweeted about having a naked massage earlier, huh?” I just kept on giggling.
James laughed too, and he said defensively, “I was dreaming!”
“Don’t be so defensive, James.” I said to him.
“By the way, did Neil told you that the whole team’s going to Paolo’s family farm in Cebu? He’s one of our teammates. We’re going there on the 10th, I think. You guys should come!” he said.
“Neil hasn’t told me about that yet. I’ll ask him when he wakes up. We’ll be around Visayas by that time, so probably will come there just before Neil leaves for England.”
“Good, I’m gonna let you rest now, my princess. Sweet dreams!” James said.
“Good night, James!”
Keeper for Keeps (Part 22)
Yennie and Si dropped us off at the airport. While waiting, Neil’s phone rang and it was James and Ryan. He’s laughing and I can sense that it’s about me. Later on, Neil gave me the phone. Ryan talked to me first, and then it was James.
“Tell me if Neil does something stupid to you, okay? Just call me.” James said to me.
“I will, but I doubt that. So, do you have any plans of spilling to me what you guys have talked about yesterday?” I asked. Neil just smiled at me.
“Nah, I can’t! He’s my brother, and I’m sure he won’t tell it to you too. I don’t want to break our promise. He has my respect, and I’m sure he respects me too. Sorry, princess!” he said.
“Fine, just don’t tell me you guys are in a relationship now.” we all giggled.
“Stop it!” Neil and James said. Wow, this is good. I’m feeling way better now. I just hope it will remain the same.
“I’m looking forward to see you again, my princess. I’ll call you later tonight.” James said.
“Alright, James. Talk to you later.” I said.
I said goodbye to him because we’re boarding already. Gosh, after we landed in Butuan City, we have to travel by land, sea, and land again, but it was all worth it when we saw the beach! We didn’t even rest in the hotel.
“Come on, babe! I hope I’m not rusty. Not really good in surfing.” Neil said.
I was watching him while he do his thing. Really? This man can do anything, and yet he’s very grounded.
“Let’s go, Nic!” he said.
“Uh, alright. I know how to swim, but save me, okay? Just in case.” I said.
“Of course, I’m your knight in shining armour. I’m gonna rescue you for sure.” he winked at me.
Neil taught me the basics of surfing and I fell down so many times. Embarrassing, but we can’t stop laughing.
“You’re doing a great job.” Neil said.
“Great job, huh? Are you insane?” I laughed and said, “You’re like a pro, Neil. It’s like you’re doing this everyday.”
We went back to the hotel after surfing to eat lunch and rest. I didn’t noticed that I fell asleep. I woke up around 5 PM, and found a beautiful white dress beside me with a note.
“Wear this dress and I’ll see you at the boardwalk. Hurry up, okay? You don’t want to miss the sunset.”
I did what Neil said as fast as I could. I love how the sun touches my skin as I walk on the long boardwalk. I saw him at the end looking very gorgeous while carrying a bouquet of flowers.
“You look beautiful as always.” Neil said when I reached the end of the path.
“Thank you!” I said. He’s wearing a white crisp button down longsleeves and black slacks—he looks dashing as always.
We were just there watching the sunset as we’re talking about random things. Once it gets darker, he started lighting out the candles on our table and the little candles around us.
Neil gets his iPod and attached it to the speaker. He played “Yellow” by Coldplay.
Look at the stars, look how they shine for you, and everything you do.
“Can I have this dance, Danica Aranaz?” he asked and I reached for his hands.
You know, you know I love you so, you know I love you so.
“When will you ever stop surprising me, Neil? Until when are we going to be like this?” I said to him while he puts his arms around my waist.
“Nic, I will do this everyday as long as I can, as long as I live. I told you I’ll do everything just to be the reason behind your beautiful smile.” he said.
I swam across, I jumped across for you. Oh, what a thing to do, and it was all yellow.
“Thank you, Neil. I know there will come a time that I have to choose already between you and James. It’s just that, what if I choose James? Or what if I choose you? I’m afraid of the consequences. What if I realized that I chose the wrong man? I don’t want anyone to get hurt, but I know that it’s impossible.” I said to him, and I know I just ruined our moment.
Your skin, oh yeah, your skin and bones turn into something beautiful.
Neil didn’t say anything. He was just staring at me. I can see fear, love, and everything else.
“Neil, tell me what you’re thinking.”
And you know, for you I’d bleed myself dry, for you I’d bleed myself dry.
“You know that I’m afraid to lose you, but I don’t want to be selfish here. You can’t call that true love. If James is the one who will make you happy for the rest of your life, then so be it. I want you to be happy, Nic. It will be hard for me, of course. I’ve never been this crazy in love! This is not the Neil Etheridge that the girls from my past have met before—I’m selfish, and I’m just protecting myself from getting hurt. I would always act like I don’t care, and that I can always replace you, because I know I can. But when I met you, I thought that you’re worth the risk, and that I don’t mind getting hurt. To be honest, I don’t think I could ever replace you, Danica. I may love another woman after you, but you will always have that very special place in my heart. You’re the one who taught me what real love is.”
Look how they shine for you, and all the things you do.
I smiled at him, and I feel all kilig inside. We were interrupted when Neil’s phone rang.
“Oh, great. Let me just take this call, okay?” he said.
“Sure, babe.” I said to him.
“Hey, mate! What’s up?” Neil asked. Neil looks excited, but then he started frowning after awhile.
I heard him said, “Ugh, this sucks. I’ll call you again, mate.” Neil said and went back to me.
“Why the sad face?” I asked.
“Hmm, I have a two-year contract waiting for me back in England. I got promoted to the first team.” Neil said.
“Wow, that’s great! Congratulations! But why are you sad? We gotta celebrate!” I said to him.
“I have to be back in England on May 15, and the coach wants me to train with the team for two weeks. I’ll be back in the Philippines just in time for the Azkals’ practice.” he said.
“Oh, I see.” I replied to him. “So, you’ll be busy, then.”
“Nica!” he said.
“What?” I asked him.
“Just don’t forget what I said to you, okay?” Neil said.
“I won’t, Neil.”
“And don’t forget about me.” Neil said.
Keeper for Keeps (Part 21)
I edited some parts of Keeper for Keeps (Part 21), so please read it again! Nica is torn between a prince and a knight in shining armour. Who are you going to choose?
Keeper for Keeps (Part 21)
I woke up and Neil was still sleeping while his arms are wrapped around me. Tell me that I didn’t see James yesterday. Please tell me that it was just a dream. Tell me that he’s gone, or probably went back to England today. I was staring at Neil when he suddenly woke up when my phone alarmed—yeah, “Crack the Shutters” by Snow Patrol. He smiled at me and kissed me.
“Good morning! How are you feeling now?” Neil asked.
“Good morning! I think I’m feeling better now.” I said.
“Great! What do you want for breakfast? I’m going to the gym with Si in a bit and watch Thor. Wanna join us?” Neil asked.
“I don’t know. I’m fine with anything I guess. Nah, I can’t join you guys today. James and I will have lunch later, remember?” I said. Please tell me that it’s not true that I’m having lunch with him later, Neil.
“Oh, yeah! I’ll see you after that.” he said. Ugh, that’s it. James is still here.
Neil, Si, and I had breakfast at Portico 1771 when suddenly, James and his brother, Ryan, entered the restaurant. I almost choked. The guys called him and they joined our table. Ryan hugged me when he saw me.
“Hey, little sis! I missed you so much!” Ryan said.
“I missed you, too, Ryan!” I said to him.
“James said that you live here too. My brother can’t stop talking about you again last night. He’s so weird last night and was so happy to see you again. He said you two are having a lunch date today. God, he can’t stop talking about you when he came back in our condo.” Ryan said. Neil and Si gave James a look, and then they both looked at me.
“Shut up, bro!” James said and pretend that he’s busy eating his food.
Ryan didn’t notice Neil and Si, so I just said, “Oh!” More awkward moments, indeed. The guys were talking about football and all that, but Neil wasn’t talking to me while we’re eating. It’s like I don’t even exist.
“Oh, gotta leave you guys now. I’m gonna have a date with Si. Want to join us, Ryan? We’ll go to the gym and then watch Thor.” Neil said to Ryan.
“Sounds great! Bye little brother and future sister-in-law. See you later!” Ryan said. Si almost choked with what Ryan said. Seems like James didn’t tell Ryan about Neil. This is so not good. Neil gave me a look. He just kissed me on the lips and said, “I’ll talk to you later.” He gave me a serious face, but still smiled at me, and Ryan was a little shocked. Yennie called me right after Neil and the guys left the restaurant—of course, except James. I excused myself to James and took the call outside. I won’t be able to speak to Yennie if he’s in front of me. I told Yennie everything and how confused I am right now. We kept the call short since Yennie knows that James is waiting inside.
“Uh, sorry for that.” I said to James.
“It’s fine.” James said.
“So, what are you gonna say to me?” I asked him.
“Honestly, I just want to spend time with you, Nica.” James holds my hand. “I’ve dated a lot of women these past few years, and I sure had fun with them, but I realized that at the end of the day, no one can ever replace you in my heart.” he said.
“You know that I’m dating Neil now.” I said to him.
“I know, but can you give me a chance? I’ll talk to him. I’ve been dying to go here in the Philippines, but I have so many commitments back in UK. When Neil asked me to join the Philippine team, I immediately said yes to him, because I know that Everton will allow me to go here for football. Yeah it was Neil who contacted me and my brother to join the team.”
“James, I don’t know. I don’t want to cause a fight between you and Neil. This would be easier if you’re not teammates—if you’re not friends.” I said to him.
“I’ll talk to him. Just give me a chance, Nic. I realized that I’ve always been in love with the same girl, and if I wouldn’t try my luck this time, I cannot forgive myself.” James said. I didn’t reply to him.
“C’mon, let’s get out of here.” he said. The next thing I know, we’re riding a jeepney. Ever since we were little kids, Yennie, James, and I, would always love to ride those jeepneys and tricycles. Our parents won’t allow us, because they say it’s dangerous. Before James went back to England, the three of us sneaked out and rode a jeepney and tricycle. We almost got lost because we don’t know where it’s heading. I was a tough girl but I was crying so hard at that time because we cannot find our way home. James was there he comforted me. He assured Yennie and I that we will be able to go home safe, and yes, we arrived home safe without our parents and yayas knowing what happened.
“Did you remember our first time to ride the jeep and tricycle? You were crying so hard because you’re afraid that bad guys might get us.” he laughed.
“Yeah, shut up.” I giggled. I don’t know if it’s good that I’m getting comfortable with him. I’ve honestly never rode a jeep again after that until now. “I’m different now, James. I’ve learned how to protect myself since you left.”
“But I’m here now, Nic. I’m gonna protect you, because you’re my princess, remember?” he said. I didn’t answer him. Oh, yeah! He’s my prince, and I’m his princess. He told me that he’s gonna protect me—and Yennie, of course—from the bad guys.
“Did you tell it to your parents?” he asked.
“NO! They don’t know about it until now. I don’t think Yennie told her parents about it either.” I smiled.
“Ryan knows about it, but our parents still don’t know about that incident until now.” he said.
He’s always been protective to Yennie and I when we were kids. We went to this old park near our village where we usually play.
“If only I could turn back time.” he whispered. “Hey, do you still have the heart necklace I gave you before I left Manila? The one I told you to keep, because it symbolizes my heart?”
“Yeah, I still have it. I kept it in my jewelry box.” I smiled at him.
“So you’re not wearing it anymore?” he asked and was obviously sad that I’m not wearing it.
“No, I stopped wearing it when I almost lost it one time, so I decided to keep it instead.” I said awkwardly and he smiled.
“Now I know why I cannot love another girl. My heart has always been here with you.” James said.
We forgot about the time. It’s past 3 PM already, and I didn’t notice that Neil sent so many messages on BBM. Just in time to break that awkward moment.
“Oh, shit!” I said.
“Why? Is it Neil?” he asked.
“Yeah, I was supposed to meet him now. I totally forgot about it.” I said.
“Come on. I don’t want him to be angry at me.” James said and winked at me.
We arrived at the condo at 5 PM, and I already said goodbye to James.
“I hope this won’t be the last time that we’re gonna spend time with each other, Nica.” he said and kissed me on the cheek.
I saw Neil sleeping in my couch while holding his phone—and The Royal Wedding is on TV. I sat beside him and kissed him to wake him up.
“Oh, you’re here. I thought you forgot about me, and runaway with James. You weren’t replying to my messages, so yeah, I thought you ditched me already, and I don’t know what to do if that happens.” Neil can’t stop talking. He looks so worried.
“Hey, calm down. I know it’s my fault. I didn’t notice my phone. Sorry, you all have the right, I think, to be angry.” I said to him.
“Yeah, you didn’t notice because you and James were so busy having fun, while here I am worrying about you—worrying if you’re gonna come back to me.” He paused and said, “Sorry, I was just getting paranoid while you’re with him.” He hugged me so tight and kissed me.
“Sorry for not telling you about James and I last night. I was so confused, and I still am.”
“I’m scared, Nica. I am so scared.” Neil said.
“What? Why are you scared?” I asked.
“I’m scared to lose you. I asked some questions to Ryan earlier about you guys—I even called Yennie. I’m sorry. I was really being paranoid.” he looked me in the eye. I don’t know what to tell him. I don’t want to promise him anything yet. So, I decided to tell Neil everything about James and I. I don’t want to keep anything from him, and whatever it is that I am feeling right now.
“What? He told you that wanted to date you too?” Neil asked in despair.
“Yeah, he wants to talk about it with you. I told him that we’re exclusively dating, but he insists. Listen, I don’t want to be the cause of your fight, okay?” I said to him. “I don’t want to ruin your friendship as this will surely affect your team. I don’t want that to happen, Neil. If you’re just gonna fight because of me, I swear I’m gonna leave and stay away from you guys.”
“UGH! I’ll try my best to be cool about this.” he said as he’s trying to calm down.
We just sat there and watch The Royal Wedding as if nothing happened.
“Aww, they look so good together, and PRINCE HARRY is so gwapo! I’m gonna marry him, and be the next princess.” I said.
“Gwapo? It means handsome, right? So now, even Prince Harry is ruining my own fairytale. Great! He’s a prince, and I’m just your knight in shining armour.” he said.
I am, indeed, torn between a prince and knight in shining armour right now. Ugh, I hate it.
“Yeah, it means handsome.” I smiled at his last statement. “You’re such a girl.” I said to him.
The next day, I woke up with a note from Neil saying that he’s with James, and told me to do the last minute shopping with Si and Yennie. He told me not to worry about them, but of course, I want to know how they are. Neil wouldn’t even answer my calls. I called James and he’s not answering my calls too.
Neil gave Simon a list of what to shop for him. I was asking Si to show it to me, but he wouldn’t. He told me that it’s strictly confidential according to Neil. Simon left Yennie and I alone, so he can shop already. Ahh, these guys are making me crazy!
Simon met up with us during lunch, but then he left us again to continue shopping. We literally spent the whole day shopping and eating in Bonifacio High Street that I forgot about the boys. Neil and James are still not answering my calls and messages. What happened to these guys? It’s already 7 PM, so I went to James’s condo to check if Ryan’s there. He might have an idea.
“Nah, I don’t know where they went. I’m sorry, Nic. I didn’t know that you and Neil are dating.” Ryan said.
“No, don’t worry about it, Ry. It’s just that I haven’t had the chance to explain it to Neil too. He already knows about it—I mean, everything—last night.” I said to him.
Ryan and I had a little chat, but then I have to leave because the guys were already in my unit. I immediately went back, and saw them smiling at me. They look perfectly okay, and no bruises—thank God!
“I just want to say that Neil and I are good, and yeah, I want to say goodbye and see you again when you guys come back here.” James said and hugged me, and then gave me a kiss before he left. “Take care of her, Neil.” he said.
“Sure, bro.” Neil said and hugged me so tight.
“What’s up?” I asked him.
“We’re perfectly good. Don’t worry, babe! I cannot tell you whatever it is that we’ve talked about today. It’s just between me and him, okay? Now c’mon and let’s sleep already. Don’t want to be late tomorrow! I’m really excited!” he said.
Keeper for Keeps (Part 21) will be posted tomorrow! ♡
Keeper for Keeps (Part 20)
Yennie got a call from her boss, so James and I were left inside the restaurant while waiting for our order. Gosh, this is so awkward. I don’t even know what I am feeling right now.
“Are you still going to study in London?” James asked. Of course, he knew about it.
“I’m still thinking about it.” I said to him. I’m still thinking about it because Neil Etheridge came into my life, you know?
“Thinking about it? Why? Weren’t you so excited to go there and—yeah.” he said. What are you trying to say James? What?
“Uh? Hmm. I’m planning to travel around the Philippines first. After that, I’m gonna decide whether I’m gonna leave for UK or not.” Why can I not tell him that it’s because of Neil? I want to kill myself. Neil wouldn’t be too happy about this. I have to tell this to James.
“Are you gonna travel alone? Or with Yennie? Can I join you?” he asked while smiling at me.
“Oh, no. Yennie cannot join us, because of work. I’m gonna travel with a friend.” I said to him. A friend? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
“A friend or a boyfriend? A guy?” he giggled. YOU ARE SO NOT HELPING ME. All my feelings for you before are now coming back in just a snap. I hate this! We never had a bad blood, and never had a closure with whatever we had. I wish he has a girlfriend now, so it won’t bother me after this day.
“No, he’s not, uh, YET my boyfriend, so he’s a friend.” I put a great emphasis on YET, like as if I’m trying to tell him that I can still change my mind. I AM GIVING YOU THE PERMISSION TO KILL ME NOW.
“Yet, huh? Good!” James said and smiled.
“Good?” I asked.
“Yeah, because I still have a chance.” he said.
“What about your girlfriend?” I try my best to change the topic a bit. I don’t want to talk about Neil, but I really have to tell him also about Neil. Confused! NEIL AND I ARE DOING GREAT A FEW MINUTES AGO. WHERE ARE YOU, YENNIE?! PLEASE COME BACK!
“Girlfriend? I’ve been single for about two years now I think. It’s my decision. I realized that I already found the woman I want to marry when I was still a kid. That’s why I’m back in the Philippines.” he smiled.
“Oh, really? Good for you. How’s football? You were playing for what team is it again?” I asked. I changed the topic, because I don’t want to talk about whoever that woman is.
“Philippine Team! It’s the second reason why I’m here. My brother and I are still taking a vacation for a month. Will be busy with training later on.” My heart was beating faster when he said that.
“Yeah, why? Are you a fan?” he giggled.
“No, not yet. Uh, so, you know—“ I wasn’t able to finish the sentence because Yennie came back.
“C’mon, let’s go back now. Simon just BBMed me and told me that they are already hungry.” Yennie laughed.
“Oh, c’mon.” I said.
“Hey, are you going somewhere? You might want to join us.” Yennie said. I want to kill her for asking him to join us.
“Are you sure you want me to join you guys?” James asked looking at me.
“Of course! Got a lot of catching up to do. Oh, and you’ll meet, uh, the guys.” she said. REALLY, YENNIE?! REALLY?! HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN ABOUT OUR PAST? HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN ABOUT NEIL? OMG!
“I’d join if Nic’s okay with that. Nic?” he asked.
“Hmm, of course.” I said to him. Do I even have a choice?!
I can feel so much pressure while we’re getting closer and closer to my unit.
“Oh, my teammate owns 3818.” James said.
“Ahh.” I said. I don’t want to reply, so I just said a lame “ahh.” Of course he knows Neil and Simon. Damn.
“Neil? Si?” James asked the moment we entered my unit. He looked at us.
“James? I didn’t know you’re here already. When did you arrive? You know each other?” Neil asked and looked at Yennie and I. Si, on the other hand, gave James a hug after Neil.
“Yeah, he’s our childhood friend.” Yennie said. She was also shocked, but not as shocked as I am. She still doesn’t know that James is trying to hit on me again right now.
“Oh, yeah. So, you’re teammates. I forgot that you’re all playing for the Philippine football team. Nice.” I was obviously sarcastic.
We’re having dinner and talked about random stuff. I wasn’t in the mood to talk with them, especially around Neil and James. There’s just so much pressure. They are teammates. Why do they have to be teammates?
“So, how was Nica when you guys were still kids?” Neil asked James.
“Oh, she’s a tough girl. We were very close with each other. She’s always been beautiful ever since. It’s just sad that we have to go back to England.” James said while staring at me and smiling.
“Well, at least you guys are all together now.” Neil said. Simon and Yennie have a little world on the other side of the table. Gosh, Yennie, help me out here.
“Babe, are you okay?” Neil asked and James is staring at us.
“Ahh, yeah. I’m fine. Maybe I’m just too tired from our trip.” I said to Neil and he kissed me on the forehead.
“C’mon. Just rest now. We still have a long day tomorrow. Sorry, guys.” Neil said. Yennie caught James looking at me. Oh, finally! I hope she gets this one.
“Kinda late as well. I gotta leave already. How about you James and Si?” Yennie asked.
“I’m gonna sleep at Neil’s room, and well, I think Neil’s staying here with Nica. I’m gonna accompany you downstairs, babe.” Si said and winked at us.
“My unit is just a few floors away, so yeah. Good night!” James said. “Nica, I still have to talk to you. What time are you free tomorrow?”
“Uh—“ I looked at Neil.
“Well, we have to do some last minute shopping for our trip. We can do it in the morning or evening, babe.” Neil said.
“Lunch probably, and then Neil and I will do the shopping after that.” I said to James.
“Alright, see you tomorrow.” James kissed me on the cheeks and looking me in the eye. Yennie and Si also said goodbye already.
Oh, I don’t think Neil’s getting whatever it is that is happening right now. Please tell me that James not really here. After my lunch with James tomorrow, I have to tell our story to Neil. I HAVE TO.