Everglow/C2 Because I came here with a load and it feels so much lighter since I met you
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Everglow/C2 Because I came here with a load and it feels so much lighter since I met you
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C2 Because I came here with a load and it feels so much lighter since I met you


Because I came here with a load and it feels so much lighter since I met you

"Hey. Where's my paper?" Kara asked in a demanding tone. She crossed her arms while surveying the pile of papers beside me.

"Money down," I replied, still focusing on my notes.

"How sure are you that I'm going to get an excellent grade with your output?" She raised her eyebrows.

"You won't." I flipped the pages of my notes.

"Why do I have to pay then?" Kara scowled.

I lifted my head to face her doll-like features. "You getting an excellent grade for a paper would be too obvious considering you lack the knowledge to compose a sentence."

"Did you say I'm stupid?" She yelled. "FYI. I'm asking you to write a paper for me because I was just lazy and don't have time to do it. Don't feel so proud."

"Oh. Okay." I pretended to believe. "Why take Political Science? There's no room for laziness in the court," I whispered the last sentence.

"What did you say again?"

"Nothing. I'm just asking if this course is really your choice."

"None of your business," she scoffed. Her expression made me realize it wasn't her desired course. Well, another student with parents dictating their life. When will this kind of story end?

"I'm paying you a lot, so you better give me an excellent grade in Political Theory." She demanded.

"The rule is I write everyone a paper, but it doesn't include getting an A," I explained. There's no way I would let them beat me. "The highest grade you can get with this paper is good or very good, depending on the mood of our professor. But at least, it suits your skills in writing."

"How dare you!" She pointed a finger at me.

I grabbed the folder beside me and waved it in her face. "For the record, it was you who asked a favor. So, take it or leave it? I can cut this paper right now into pieces."

"Whatever!" She grabbed it and placed the one-thousand peso bill in my table before walking away.

"You are so over if she tells the professor you're writing papers for everyone," Missy said, concerned.

"She won't talk," I assured her. I know they would not say anything because they're gaining something from me. Of course, why would they tell the professor if all of them were asking me for favors?

"Uh, Gabriella," she frowned. "Do you really have to do that? C'mon, you know the risk if the professor caught you doing things."

"I've been doing this for the last years," I stated. "They hadn't caught me. Okay? Plus, I really need the money." I emphasized the last sentence.

"And sleep, you need sleep. Do you even have time to sleep? How many jobs you have?" I could feel her frustration. Missy's been a nice friend to me since our first term.

"I'm not counting them, but if you got new jobs for me, just say it." I urged.

"Even if I know, I won't tell you." She shook her head. "You're unbelievable, Gab. You work in a coffee shop, hotel, bistro, and you still write a critique, research papers, or whatever papers not only from our class but even from the other courses. How do you manage to even be on the top?" She unbelievably stared at me. "Hell, I don't do anything and just study, yet I still don't top. Are you human? Are you okay?"

I laughed. "Thanks for the concern. I am. I need to do everything. You know I have the scholarship to keep and bills to pay."

"All of them won't matter if you're dead, so take care of yourself."

"Thanks, Missy," I nodded. "I've got to go. I have to meet my best friend."

"Wait, how about the research? We have a meeting."

I handed her the paper. "I already finish my part, so I would just attend the meeting before the defense."

"You're totally amazing." She smiled.

"Yeah, I get that a lot. Bye!" I picked all my things and went out of the room.

"Yeah. Make sure to get some rest! We have a lot of quizzes tomorrow."

Unfortunately, the word rest no longer exists in my vocabulary.

I went out of our room and used the Warp Zone to go easily in the Gokongwei Hall.

"Hey," I called. Var turned to me as he closed his book. "Here's your paper." I handed him the folder. "I can't even get why you always asked me to write papers for you." I raised an eyebrow. "You're intelligent," I stated.

"But lazy," he replied with a shrug. "I hate writing."

I looked at him and was about to knock him with my next words, but I realized he'd been very helpful to me, so I should not be rude. Though, I clearly knew he never really used my articles in his subjects. Why does he even pay for it?

"Do you like me?" I straightforwardly asked. Okay, sorry. I couldn't help it.

He paused for a second and laughed. "I do like you, Ms. Tan. What will you do then?

"Ask you for more articles so you can pay me big time," I devilishly smiled. "I need the money more than you."

He shook his head in disbelief. "Does that mean you're rejecting me?"

"I don't date, Mr. Maquess," I bent my head a little before turning my back.

"I guess I just have to ask you to write articles for me every day," he answered.

I wagged my head because I know a fourth-year Civil Engineering student doesn't need critique papers or term papers. If they need one, I believe it wouldn't be about topics under social sciences. Nevermind. At least I have money. I badly need it.

But, even if I badly need money, I would not definitely ask for it from my family to which my dear brother Gabriel couldn't understand.

"Why are you avoiding my calls?" he asked as he stood in front of Henry Sy Sr. Hall.

"I always avoid your calls, brother," I replied. "What are you doing here?"

"I wanted to check if you're okay." He surveyed me from head to toe.

"Did mother sent you?" I asked though I know he was here on his own will.

Among my three brothers and one sister, Gabriel was the only one who treated me like a family. He still kept on insisting on living with him since I ran from home.

"That's ridiculous, Gabriella. You know no one sent me."

"Mother has look-outs for me, so I know she would get mad at you if she knew you're talking to me." I sighed.

"I put money on your bank," he replied, ignoring my words.

"I'm going to return it just like the last one, and the one before that. You know the story," I breathe deeply.

"It's my money, not our family, so how about you accept it?" He scoffed. "C'mon, Gabriella. It's me, your brother."

"I know right, you've always been good to me since we're kids. You're different from our siblings, yet please understand I'm trying to be on my own," I pleaded. "I promise our mother and father that I am going to reach my dreams without their help, so please don't let me hurt my pride." I bit my lower lip to stop myself from crying.

He heaved. "Fine, just take my calls and update me. Can you do that?"

I nodded. "Okay, I'll try. No promises. You know I'm busy."

"You know I'm here if you need help." He walked towards me and gave me a hug.

I returned it. "Thanks, brother."

"At least, let me treat you an early dinner?" he asked as we walked to the gate.

"I'm full. But, a ride to España would do." I smiled.

"You're visiting Zee?"

"Yeah." I nodded. "We haven't seen each other for months because we're both busy."

Or maybe we're not busy, but we were just trying to make ourselves busy to forget the reality that strikes up when we don't do anything.

My brother dropped me at Advocafe. It was Zee's favorite place to stay since it's not usually busy. I liked their baked cookies and their advocacy of taking products from small producers and giving it back through helping scholars, particularly indigenous people.

"Hey," I greeted Zee. "Gosh, I miss you, future doctor." I hugged her and she returned it.

"I miss you too, future lawyer." She smiled. "How are you?"

"Barely surviving," I answered as I sat beside her. "How are you?"

She sighed. "I have a lot of practicals and tests."

"Same. College sucks, totally." I pouted. "I wish we could go back to high school and asks Zack for answers."

Oh, okay. That didn't go well. Urgh, Gabriella, you are so dumb!

"Yeah." She smiled slightly. "Life's easy with Zack around."

I was sure I pinched a hole in her heart when her eyes started to cloud.


She cut me off. "It's okay, Gab. I should not be thinking about it because I will be marrying Aae, but I'm still hoping he would come back."

The last time I talked to Zack was when he helped me get a job in his family's business because their company was the only one who hadn't been influenced by my family to reject me. So, a big thanks to him and his family because I wouldn't survive without them.

Though I don't know his reason for cutting ties with us, yet I know that he would come back. "He will come back," I assured her. "For now, let's all chase our dreams, so we won't have any regrets in the future."

"He's mad, right? Because I didn't tell him about our marriage and the world announced it." She closed her eyes and heaved. "Maybe that is why he's not talking to me, or us. He's not even sending letters."

"Zee," I held her hand. "Zack might have his reasons."

"Baka!" She rolled her eyes as she said their call sign. It means 'stupid' in Japanese. "Anyways, nevermind. I have something for you." She stood and walked to the side. "I bought you a guitar as an advance gift."

"Woah," I gasped as she handed me the guitar. "It's the LX1E Little Martin Guitar!" I exclaimed.

"Happy Birthday, Gab."

I cried. "Aww, thank you so much. You know I needed this." I wiped my tears.

"You're not Gab without your guitars." She hugged me. "I couldn't help you with money, but I believe that will make you get more money."

I nodded. "Thank you."

She laughed. "Why are we so dramatic? Is this what college brought us?"

I chuckled. "I guess so."

"Play a song for me the next time we hang out." She picked up her things. "You know I need to go." She pointed outside, and I saw her butler waiting for her. "Call me when you got home, okay? Don't work too much."

"Yes, I will. Take care of yourself, okay?"

She nodded with a smile. I smiled back. We both know our smile was a fake one. I may be miserable right now, but it's nothing compared to Zee, who lost her freedom just to pursue her dreams.

I stayed there for a while to finish all the papers due tomorrow and review for quizzes. I was supposed to go to work when the rain started pouring.

"Omg! I forgot my umbrella," I told myself.

I checked my silver watch. I lost time. I only have an hour before my duty at the Zendaya's Bistro, but with traffic and rain, I would not be able to reach the place on time.

I thought of still trying because it's better late than never, yet I realized I needed a break sometimes. I was tired. I also don't want my new guitar to be blessed by the rain, so I decided to text the manager.

"Gab, enjoy the rain once in a while," I told myself while staring at the raindrops outside the shop.

It was then I realized I was the only one inside the shop. I thought the staff wouldn't mind me singing, so I picked up my new guitar and my only guitar. Sad to say, my mother threw out all my guitars at home when I told her I don't want to become a doctor.

Now, what should I sing?

I started strumming and sang the first song that came to my mind.

"Oh, they say people come, say people go. This particular diamond was extra special, and though you might be gone and the world may not know, still I see you celestial."

The staff started to look at me, so I stopped. "Sorry."

"No, it's okay," the manager smiled at me. "Go on, your voice suits the rain. It's like an angel singing."

"Thanks," I replied. "Well then, let me continue it for all of you." I cleared my throat. "Like a lion you ran, a goddess you rolled. Like an eagle, you circled In perfect purple, so how come things move on..."

I almost dropped my guitar when someone continued the song. "How come cars don't slow when it feels like the end of my world? When I should, but I can't let you go..."

Oh. I was caught off guard when a tall guy wearing a white uniform stood in front of me and asked, "Why did you stop?"

"I was surprised," I answered when I got my senses back. "You sound really great," I complimented.

"Does it makes you fall for me?" He winked.

"Oh," I wagged my head. "That was fast." I reacted.

He chuckled as he brushed his side bangs, which was covering his brown eyes. He lowered himself and gently grab my guitar before sitting.

I was about to protest when he started singing again. "But when I'm cold...cold...when I'm cold, cold...there's a light that you give me when I'm in shadow. There's a feeling you give me, an everglow..."

I hadn't recovered yet when he offered his hand to me. "I'm Lauyton."

I almost fell when he added, "Do you want to see the future with me?"

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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