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Number One Fan


Author: issabacsa Total hits: 5080 User hits: 24 Date: 05-15-2014

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WHILE WE WERE WAITING for Joyce, Alex asked Congressman Guillermo.

“I’ve heard you’re having a talk show with Regine here,” Alex said. “Why?”

“You are aware that a cable channel features the Senate most of the time,” Congressman Guillermo said. “So I suggested to my friend Butch Roxas of having a show that showcases the House of Representatives.”

“What are your motives, Congressman?” Alex asked again. “There is something more behind that move.”

“What do you mean?” said the lawmaker smiling.

“I’m sure, you’re seeking re-election,” Alex said. “You want an exposure without people accusing you of electioneering or premature campaigning. There is an ulterior motive than that. What do you think, Regine?”

I could not answer. I knew this topic would lead to something.

“There’s nothing to it, honest,” said Congressman Guillermo.

“What are you trying to drive at, Alex?” asked David.

“Why don’t you tell them, Congressman Jose Guillermo, Jr.? Son of Senator Jose Guillermo, Sr. and grandson of Vice-President Jose Ricardo Guillermo. Tell them what you wanted to achieve. Tell them why you chose Regine Sta. Maria to be your co-host.”

“What?” the congressional representative asked. “RMBN management chose Regine.”

“Liar!” shouted Alex. “Tell me the truth!”

Alex pointed the gun at us.

“Congressman, it would be better if we follow his instructions,” I said.

“Okay,” Congressman Guillermo took a deep breath. “The government wanted to start another round of peace talks with the Bangsamoro. I learned that the Sultan of Lanao is Regine’s grandfather. If I can have Regine in the show, we can show the public that we are serious in promoting peace and order. I believe she can convince her grandfather to agree with the proposed amendments. Especially those I’ve included in the bilateral agreement.”

“See?” Alex turned to me. “I’ve told you, they are going to use you, Regine.”

“I already knew that,” I said. “He told me that before.”

Then we heard Alma Perez-Roxas returned for an update on TV. Alex took David’s cell phone and called the station. He demanded to be on air.

“Are we on air now?” asked Alex.

“Yes, Alex,” answered Alma on air.

There was a slight feedback that Alex took the remote control and toned down the TV volume.

“I want Joyce Robles to be here now,” Alex demanded.

“We’re still looking for her whereabouts, Alex,” Alma said. “How are David, Regine, and Congressman Guillermo doing?”

“They’re fine,” Alex said. “Also, put Ka Rudy with you on air. I want to ask him something.”

We saw Alma’s surprised look on her face as she looked at the side. Then she nodded as if someone signaled something to her.

“Okay, he will be here with me in a moment,” Alma said.

“Would you request the SWAT team, NBI, and police to back off?” Alex demanded. “I'm looking at the window and they seem to be on a stand-by. Tell the Chief of Police to let these men out of the site, NOW!"

Then we saw Ka Rudy seated beside Alma on TV.

“Ka Rudy, good afternoon,” Alex said. “I’m going to ask you something.”

“Sure, go ahead, Alex,” Ka Rudy said.

“To whom it came from the Honda CRV you gave to Regine for her birthday?” Alex asked on air.

Ka Rudy took the question with surprise.

“Ah, Management decided to give Regine an incentive for the success of her show,” Ka Rudy answered. “A birthday gift, and at the same time, token of appreciation.”

Ka Rudy managed to smile on camera.

“Wrong,” Alex said. “I don’t think that’s the real reason. Don’t be too prudent not to admit that it was a sort of a bribe.”

“Please, Alex, stop that,” I pleaded. “That’s not true.”

“Shut up, Regine!” Alex shouted. “I’m the one talking here. Now, Ka Rudy, tell me, why did Management decide to give Regine a new show?”

“Ah, Management wants her as a political commentator rather than a crime reporter,” Ka Rudy answered. “You see, Alex, Management thought of it as a career move for Regine.”

“I don’t buy that!” Alex shouted. “Congressman Guillermo admitted to us awhile ago the real reason. Why don’t you tell that on air?”

“Alex, calm down,” Alma said. “Ka Rudy will answer those questions later.”

“No! I want those answers now,” Alex demanded. “Ka Rudy, who bought that vehicle?”

“I don’t know,” Ka Rudy said. “Management just instructed me to give the Honda CRV to Regine.”

“Are you sure you don’t know?” Alex said.

“Yes, that’s true,” Ka Rudy said.

“I’m pointing the gun at Regine right now, Ka Rudy,” Alex said on air. “Are you sure you’re telling me the truth?”

“Yes, I’m telling you the truth,” Ka Rudy said.

Alex shot the vase behind me and it shattered into pieces. Viewers might have heard the gunshot.

“Alex, what’s that?” Alma asked.

“I just shot someone,” Alex said on air. “Guess who?”

“Okay, I admit!” Congressman Guillermo shouted. “I was the one who bought the car for Regine.”

Alex laughed. Viewers heard it on air.

“See? Our good Congressman will admit something on air,” Alex said. “Here, Congressman, tell them.”

Alex put the cell phone on Congressman Joey Guillermo’s ear.

He admitted on air that the Honda CRV I got on my birthday came from him as a bribe for me to agree to co-host the show with him.

Alex took the cell phone and talked again on air.

“Now, I demand that you get in touch with Regine’s grandfather. Get this peace talks done and over with. Or else, you’ll have a dead Princess Regina in a few minutes!”

CONGRESSMAN GUILLERMO SEATED ON MY LEFT, his hands and feet tied with a thick rope. A handkerchief gagged his mouth. On my right seated David, his hands and feet tied, and a handkerchief hanged around his neck. Three of us sat on the sofa.

After an hour, Joyce arrived. She wore a striped t-shirt and denim jumper. Those clothes seemed borrowed from a friend because I haven’t seen those clothes on her before.

“Joyce,” I said. “Where have you been?”

Joyce just looked at me but did not say a word. She turned to Alex instead.

“Alex,” she said. “Don’t hurt them, please. Just surrender, that’s all. If you want, just take me with you.”

“Don’t tell me what to do,” Alex said. “You did a good job.”

“Wait, what do you mean, Alex?” I asked.

“Sister, I’m sorry,” Joyce answered. “I was Alex’s accomplice. He is my boyfriend. He just pretended to court you to be your boyfriend to exact revenge. He planned everything.”

“Shut up!” Alex shouted at her and was about to slap Joyce.

“Okay, just hurt me if you want!” Joyce shouted back. “Hurt me the way you hurt Adele.”

“I didn’t hurt Adele,” Alex said. “I loved Adele. And I love you, too.”

“Yes, you loved Adele. You loved her too much that you killed her out of your jealousy!” Joyce shouted. “I’m not Adele, Alex. I realized that I was just reminding you of her. So I decided to leave and went away.”

“Where did you go?” Alex said.

Joyce did not answer.

“Answer me!” Alex shouted as he tugged her arms.

“To Patrick, to Inspector Carrillo!” Joyce shouted back. “I can’t stand it any longer, Alex. I have to tell everything to the police.”

“WHAT BRINGS YOU HERE?” Patrick asked when Joyce arrived at Camp Crame.

“I have to tell you something,” Joyce said.

Patrick led her to his desk.

“Have a seat,” Patrick said. “Care for soda or anything?”

“Cold bottled water would be fine,” she said.

Patrick went to the refrigerator at the corner and took a bottle of cold water. He returned to his desk. After giving her the bottle, he asked, “So what is it that you want to tell me?”

“I have to tell you about my boyfriend,” Joyce said.

Patrick observed Joyce. She seemed serious. He noticed a few bruises on her lips and arms.

“Is he hurting you?” Patrick asked.

Joyce nodded.

“Then I should refer you to the Women’s Desk…”

“No, Patrick,” Joyce interrupted. “I need to speak with you and to your boss… It’s about my sister… about her Number One Fan.”

“Come here,” he said and led her to Inspector Carrillo’s office.

“You’d better stay here. I’ll just call Inspector Carrillo,” Patrick instructed.

While Joyce waited inside Inspector Carrillo’s office, she saw the framed article on the table and read it.

Then Patrick and Inspector Carrillo came in. After a few brief introductions, Joyce pointed on the framed article.

“I think I’ve seen that article somewhere,” she said to Inspector Carrillo.

“This one?” asked Inspector Carrillo. “It was my first case. Until now, I couldn’t get it off my mind. The kid’s real father, who was the main suspect, had died. But I felt something was missing in that story. Where have you seen it?”

“My boyfriend has a copy of that,” Joyce said. “He kept it in his photo album. He said that it was about the death of his parents.”

“So your boyfriend is DJ, the kid mentioned in that article. What is your boyfriend’s real name again?” he asked.

“His name is Alex Joven,” Joyce answered.

Patrick and Inspector Carrillo looked at each other.

“Alex Joven is your boyfriend?” Patrick repeated the information. “I thought Alex was Regine’s boyfriend.”

“My sister introduced me to him on my eighteenth birthday,” Joyce started to tell her story. “Since he was my sister’s college classmate and friend, my sister invited him to my party. I had a crush on him, he was handsome but I couldn’t tell my sister. He must have noticed it so he started courting me. We went out for dates unknown to my sister.”

Patrick heaved a deep sigh.

“What has Regine got to do with this?” he asked.

“One day,” Joyce continued. “I didn’t feel like going to school and work that I decided to spend the time in his rented room. Alex told me of his plan to revenge on people who had hurt him. It entailed him to pretend to court my sister. I had to pretend I didn’t know the plan. I supplied some information to Alex if ever my sister would tell me something about her work. At first, it was thrilling. Then later on, it went crazy. He’s getting insane. I don’t know what to do. If he knew that I went here, he’ll kill me or my sister, or even David Lim.”

“Where is Alex right now?” asked Inspector Carrillo.

Joyce shook her head.

“I left my sister Friday night,” she said. “I went to a classmate and stayed there to get away from Alex. I don’t know where he is.”

The two police officers looked at each other.

“He’s armed, he has a gun,” Joyce said. “He mentioned to me before that he was using his stepfather’s gun.”

“Dagul, could you get the old file about the death of SPO2 Danilo Ortiz in 1993,” ordered Carrillo. “Let me know the details of his service firearm.”

“Yes, Sir,” Patrick answered and left.

A few minutes later, he returned holding the file in his hands.

“Sir, according to this report, PNP issued a Magnum 0.45 to SPO2 Ortiz but he was never issued a silencer,” Patrick said.

“But it is possible that Alex may have bought that later on,” Carrillo said.

“SO INSPECTOR CARRILLO NOW KNOWS that I killed my parents,” Alex said, thinking aloud.

He stood up and peeped at the window to see where the authorities located.

“You killed Adele, didn’t you?” asked David. “You kept on telling us that your parents died while you were asleep. That’s why we adopted you and let you stay in our house. We treated you as family. But what have you done? You kept telling that Adele committed suicide but you killed her and appeared to be a suicide, just what you did with Prof. Anacleto.”

“Shut up!” Alex shouted at David. “Okay, I admit, I killed her. I didn’t intend to. I loved her.”

DURING THE HEIGHT OF A TYPHOON, it rained hard and almost no vehicle passed by due to poor visibility. No pedestrian walked on the street except for Adele and Alex.

Adele ran away from Alex. Heavy rains wet them. Adele’s face was wet with rain and tears. She heard Alex calling her and she would not want to look back.

“Adele!” called Alex. “Wait!”

She continued running until she reached the middle of the bridge. Alex caught up, grabbed her arm, and pulled her.

“Let me go!” Adele wept. “I don’t want it anymore! I’m sick and tired of it!”

“Adele, listen,” Alex pleaded.

“How many times do I have to tell you that I don’t love you anymore? It’s over between us, stepbrother.”

“Is that what you want to happen?” asked Alex.

“Yes! I do not want to get hurt again.”

Alex tightened the grip on Adele’s arm and tugged her.

“Let me go, it hurts!” shouted Adele.

“Tell me that you love me…”

“I don’t love you! I couldn’t love the man who strikes me when he’s jealous. You’re too insecure of David!”

“You know that I love you and I don’t want any competition,” Alex said.

“I’m not your toy!” Adele said.

“Just you and I, Adele, remember that.”

“My heart cries out for David Lim. I know how much he loves his girlfriend but I’m going to go after him. I want to be in Regine’s place.”

Alex put his hands on Adele’s neck and started to choke her.

“Undo what you have said!” Alex shouted.

Adele tried to remove his hands from her neck but Alex was strong. Until she gasped for breath and leaned over the bridge’s railing. Adele could not stand it any longer. Her face turned blue and she had lost consciousness.

Alex let go of his hands and let Adele fall into the gushing water at the height of the storm.

“OH MY GOD,” I said. “What a crime of passion.”

“They found her body floating along Pasig River,” David said. “Her body was already in the early stages of decomposition that autopsy report could not verify a foul play.”

“I told you, it was an accident,” Alex said.

“You choked her to death,” David said.

“Because she kept on saying your name, David. You know that I loved her. You don’t know anything!”

Alex put back the handkerchief on David’s mouth. He pulled him from our seat and he put his arms around his neck. They went to the window to show the police that he used David as his shield. After observing the snipers’ positions, he pulled the curtain back to cover the glass window and returned to our seat. He pulled down the handkerchief from David’s mouth.

“What do you mean I don’t know?” David asked. “Alex, while you were killing your victims, you showed the truth behind Adele’s death, your parents’ and mine!”

“Stop that!” Alex said.

“You shot my parents, didn’t you?” David asked.

“Yes!” Out of anger, Alex shot David on the shoulder.

Joyce and I shouted upon hearing the shot.

Joyce approached us and helped David with his wound.

“Alex, stop!” I shouted. “I remembered you mentioned that you killed your parents in that audio file you sent me.”

“Oh yes, I admitted that,” Alex said as he turned to me.

“But did you kill David’s parents?” I asked.

“My parents asked Alex to leave when they learned of the incident,” David said struggling with pain. “Since then, our relationship as best friends became strained.”

“How did your parents know about it?” I asked.

“Caths told my mother,” David said. “That was the time Alex started harassing her about the video. One day, while my parents were in our grocery store someone shouted ‘hold up’. My parents were at the counter and Caths was in the stock room. According to witnesses, the criminal pointed the gun at my parents and asked for the money. My father drew a gun. The suspect immediately shot him and then my mother. He took the money from the cash register and left.”

“But the police also suspected you, right?” I asked.

“Because I was not there when it happened. It was a weekend and we’re supposed to help in the grocery. But the police cleared me after verifying my alibi.”

“Are you okay?” I asked.

David nodded. Blood flowed from his wound.

“Yes, I’m okay,” he said.

“Alex, look at what you’ve done,” she said as she untied the handkerchief from his neck to serve as a good tourniquet for David’s wound.

“It’s good that you are here,” Alex said to her. “Please, Joyce, don’t leave me again.”

“Let them go, Alex,” Joyce said.

Alex did not listen to her.

“I thought you love me. You said that you love me. But why did you leave me just like that?” Alex asked.

“You know the reason,” Joyce said as she tied the handkerchief. It served as tourniquet to prevent severe bleeding from David’s shoulder. “I can’t go on pretending to be Adele for you. I can’t go on pretending to my sister that we’re not in a relationship.”

“Have I told you that you make me insane?” Alex said. “I’m crazy for you. Do you think I am joking? Why do you not believe me?”

“Alex, we’ve been playing this vicious cycle over and over. I think you need psychiatric help,” Joyce said.

“What do you mean I need help? I am sane. I know what I am doing. Let us get married. After this, we will run away. We will go places, wherever you want. Just be with me.”

“I’m sorry, Alex,” Joyce said. “I can’t. I can’t go on with this kind of relationship. I don’t want to be hurt anymore just because of your baseless jealousy and insecurities!”

“Then, here’s to you!” shouted Alex as he aimed a shot on our heads.









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