Chapter Five- Love Rules

 is a mythical creature with, as a minimum, the body of a lion and a human head. In Greek tradition, it has the haunches of a lion, sometimes with the wings of a great bird, and the face of a human. It is mythicised as treacherous and merciless. Those who cannot answer its riddle suffers a fate typical in such mythological stories, as they are killed and eaten by this ravenous monster. This deadly version of a sphinx appears in the myth and drama of Oedipus. Unlike the Greek sphinx which was a woman, the Egyptian sphinx is typically shown as a man (an androsphinx). In addition, the Egyptian sphinx was viewed as benevolent, but having a ferocious strength similar to the malevolent Greek version and both were thought of as guardians often flanking the entrances to temples.
is a mythical creature with, as a minimum, the body of a lion and a human head.
In Greek tradition, it has the haunches of a lion, sometimes with the wings of a great bird, and the face of a human. It is mythicised as treacherous and merciless. Those who cannot answer its riddle suffers a fate typical in such mythological stories, as they are killed and eaten by this ravenous monster. This deadly version of a sphinx appears in the myth and drama of Oedipus. Unlike the Greek sphinx which was a woman, the Egyptian sphinx is typically shown as a man (an androsphinx). In addition, the Egyptian sphinx was viewed as benevolent, but having a ferocious strength similar to the malevolent Greek version and both were thought of as guardians often flanking the entrances to temples.

As you noticed, I have been posting the characters given to each contestants. I will try my best to find images that would define the  exact description of our players along with the fantasy characters they are portraying like that vampire thingy which I imagine Gareth would look like or just an image to give you an idea what they look like.(Like that bugul noz, which I honestly have no idea what  it looks like until I googled it. )


Romina heard the flight attendant announce that they are landing in Simon Boliva International Airport. In a few minutes she should be in Caracas, back home, back to her normal life. Her adventures and fantasies on the Fantastic TV were over.

Hindi wasn’t the Gnome, or goddess, or whatever character she had on the game show. Fantastic TV is over. She might not be among the selected people able to witness the finale she was happy to be a part of it. More or less she knew who are the top four contestants to go the finals and one of those four surely went home two million dollars richer.

In her return to reality, she had to be careful. In the contract she signed, she has no right to divulge anything about what happened to anyone until the show is distributed to the general public.

The effect of her participation on the TV show would only be felt on the day they show the first episode four months from now. Romina feared she has to watch about the scene on the Tower. Her feelings would be revealed to the world.

She closed her eyes. Marshall is in the Philippines together with Sonya and half a world away from her. Romina scoffed, even if they are on the same country it’s unlikely for him to develop feelings for her.

The last time she saw him was him walking away from the tower. He chose to go back to the Philippines than to be a part of the production crew of FTV.

Romina tried to shoo him away from her mind. It’s hopeless to think of a man that he won’t ever see again. Marshall would linger as a bittersweet memory for her.

Like always the airport is very busy, it is crowded with people who comes and go to the country.

She walked directly to the taxi area, quickly passing groups sending off there loves off the country. She called her mother to inform her arrival but didn’t ask her to come get her, her mother works as a hospital administrator and she would get off to work by five pm no need to disturb her.

“Romina! Romina!”

Romina stopped and traced the voice. Her mother! And she is still wearing her white uniform.

“Mama! What are doing here?” she asked her bewildered.

“You were gone for a month, do you think I could still wait for you at home? Geez.” Her mother hugged her tightly like she’s afraid to let go of the most precious thing in her life.

“I miss my unica hija.”

“I’m just surprised. We decided to meet at the apartment.”

“Never mind that. The celebracion of your arrival is just moved a little earlier. A proposito, did you get the dos milliones?

Romina chuckled. “Mama! You know I can’t say anything. If any information is leaked because of me I would have to pay them two point five million dollars and I would get demanded and worse imprisoned.”

“Just trying. So did you find a good son-in-law for me? The selection was strict right? Only the best were accepted so I’m sure there’s a hombre that finally passed your standard.”

Romina changed the topic. “Mama, I don’t have plans to get married. I will just take care of you.”

“Nonsense! I didn’t give birth to you just to take care of me when I grow old. I brought you to this world to give and show you love. Your father got taken from me so early that I have stocks and stocks of love to give you, I don’t really need it. I have to give it to someone and it’s you. After all you are the product of our aunto ilicito with your father.”

Romina giggled.  Her mom is really the best, she doesn’t have the word shame on her dictionary, shocking people around her. She wouldn’t really call her parents relationship an illicit affair since both were single. Her mother just doesn’t want to get married. Her beliefs of not needing to get married, among other else is what really made her stand out from an ordinary Venezuelan. Her mother also believes that a child should be independent when she reaches her right age. That’s why when she finished her college degree she bought her an apartment and told her to live on her own and not affect their social lives.

“You are really my one and only mother, Mama.” Romina smiled.

“Yes, but I’m still correct. Parents don’t have to oblige their children to take care of them when they are old. That is their decision. Those parents who do that should be nailed! I tell you. They are wasting the child’s social life. You can only be a child once.”

“Mama, we are the only ones left. I won’t leave you, I will take care of you”

Her mom smiled lovingly. “Si. But I won’t allow you to spend all your time in me. Huh, I have lots of money to pay for caregivers.” She laughed while hugging her tightly.

“It enough to know that you care. I want you to experience Vida y Amor.

Life and love? Buhay at pag-ibig? Marshall’s face formed in her mind. I wonder how long will I be imprisoned of your memories?

When Sonya returned to the Philippines Marshall immediately noticed a change in her. Especially the strange sadness that seized her once bright eyes. It was his fault, guilt flooded Marshall. If only he noticed her feelings earlier.

“Marshall what really happened with both of you in that game show? When you came back you were so restless. Now that Sunny came back she became so tight lipped, silent. She locked herself in her room.”

Inay Loleng probed him.

“Oi Loleng leave those two alone. This is the first time they lost in a game. Let them sulk for today. Don’t worry too much. When they get over it they’d be stronger. Right Marshall?”

“Sorry Dad, I can’t say much about what happened on the island, we’ll just have to wait for it to be showed.”

“Are they going to show it here in the Philippines?” His mother asked.

“Cable, mom. It’s fine since we have one.”

He left before his parents could ask more of him. He went to Sunny’s room, Marshall knocked.

“Sunny, can we talk?”

No answer.

“Sunny I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. You are my best friend. You know it hurts me when you’re like this. I’m worried about you.”

He heard a rustle inside the room, and then it opened revealing a red teary eyed Sunny.

“It’s not your fault. You don’t have to ask for forgiveness Mars.”

“It is my fault! If I didn’t drag you into that show you wouldn’t be hurt like this.”

Sonya shook her head. “No, even without that game show I would have told you my feelings. Nothing would have changed. You would still see me as a friend, as sister.”

“I treated you as sister because I don’t want you to think that I was taking advantage of you, of our friendship, of your trust in me. But I could change. You are the kind of person not hard to love
Sunny. I could fall in love with you.”

“What are you saying?”

“Let’s get to know each other. We could go on dates, not as a friend bit as potential lovers.”

“Are kidding me Marshall?”

“I’m not.” When he returned back home, he had thought of this carefully. Sunny is an important person in his life. And when he learned of her feelings for her, it isn’t hard to love her. They are same taste, same dislikes, almost matched with each other.

“What about the goddess?”  Sonya asked him suddenly.

“Ha?”

“Romina. You were attracted to her on that island. And the result of that lie detector machine that proves that your feeling are reciprocated.”

“Every guy on that Island was attracted to her. It’s a normal reaction for men to goddesses like her. And you can’t call physical attraction love, I barely know her. It’s besides it impossible for her to love me. It’s just a crush, admiration. We are also half a world apart. She lives in Venezuela and I live here. There’s nary a chance we would meet.” Marshall tried to reason out. Trying to forget the woman he meets on that island.

“So because I am the one beside you right now, you’ll just go along with me?!”

“That is not what I meant.”

“What if she is our neighbor, she lives near us? In the Philippines? You would just choose her before me?”

“I don’t love her. I barely love her.” He persistently explained.

“Yes, you might know me, but you never loved me Marshall. If you had said those words before we entered that game I would have agreed, I wouldn’t mind that you are forcing yourself. But no not anymore. I don’t want you to do that to yourself, Mars. If it was possible to love more than just a sister, it would have happened years ago. You’re only doing this because of your conscience, you are concerned and we both know it.”

“You’re wrong. I think you and I are compatible for each other.”

Sonya covered his mouth.

“I am not that same Sunny that entered that game, Mars. I’ve changed. The game taught me lessons forever etched in me. I also learned there who really I am and what I really wanna do with my life.”

Marshall flicked his eyes. Now that Sunny mentioned it, he saw that other than the strange sadness there is something else in those eyes. With the Sunny in front of her, he saw a strong woman. A true leader, a survivor. She doesn’t need him anymore. Sonya had become an independent woman of her own.

“What’s your decision, Sunny? Are you leaving? Are ending our friendship?”

Sonya smiled. “No, silly. You will always be my best friend Marshall. My brother. But I cannot be your sidekick anymore.”

Marshall laughed and nodded. “I can accept that.”

“You just have to be patient with me. This will pass.” Sonya said to him.

“You’ll recover from losing that game. I did. So, who won?” Marshall asked suddenly.

She lightheartedly punched him. “I can’t tell you that!”

“Come on! It’s just between us eh. You stayed on to be one of the production staff isn’t it? So, you’ve witnessed the final episode.”

Nine carefully chosen people are the only ones allowed to witness the finale. And not one member of the production staff was among them because Brenna herself officiated the final competition. She also became the cameraman.

“How many did reached the finals? Who are they?” Marshall continued to probe her for the last time.

Sonya just laughed. Looks like she is starting to recover. “Ask Brenna. Only she can answer you that.”

Romina was with her mother when watched the first episode of Fantastic TV. Her mother couldn’t help but cheer for her, but when it was clear that she would be eliminated she silently held her hands.

She wanted to tell her that she was part of the production staff but kept it to herself. It would be a surprise for her next week.

When the first episode was over and credits rolled over her mother faced her.

“That Filipino guy, ‘Marshall’ isn’t it?”

She nodded.

“He’s a very nice man. He gave up his safety and those dos milliones just for you.”

Romina kept couldn’t utter a single word.

“”Did you two get to know each other?”

“Not really.” She answered ambiguously. She knew the man well. But he let the chance to know her pass, if only he joined the production crew.

Her mothers’ knowing stare put holes in her.

“Did he pass your standards?”

“He is kind”

“Hmp, I bet you didn’t just see him as a kind person. Look at you so concentrated on the TV when his parts are showed. Tsk.”

“Mama!” Romina protested.

Her mother giggled. “Too bad he’s on the other side of the world. If he is here in Caracas, I want him to be you novio.”

Romina’s’ eyes widened at what she heard.

“This is the first time you saw him, in a TV no less. One hour of edited scenes is not enough to like him for your unica hija.”

“I didn’t base that on this show, It was on your reaction. I told you, I would willingly welcome whatever man you choose Romina. If he is a mal hombre I will personally straighten him out for you then you can get married. But obviously this man you chose is a good one, so I don’t have to do that.”

“Mama didn’t you forget my condition? No man would ever marry someone like me.”

“Foolishness! If that man really loves you, he will cherish you for who you are, child or no child!”

“Marshall doesn’t love me, Mama.”

“Are you certain?”

“Watch episodio seises.

When they aired the next episode of Fantastic TV Romina was stunned. Even thought she was eliminated the hidden cameras all over the island continued to shoot her. Episode two showed the scene where she intimately held the clothes Marshall inside the hospital!

That’s when she remembered a part of the contract where it says as long as the player is on the island, that player’s moves would still be under their eyes.

On the next episodes, parts of her are shown, her who keeps on glancing on him her who couldn’t keep her gaze of Marshall. Like she was a lovestruck high school girl!

By the time episode of fantastic TV was aired there wasn’t a single person in Caracas who wouldn’t recognize her. She became a minor celebrity in the city. She thought only a portion of the population would watch it since it’s a cable but she was gravely mistaken. A local network made a deal with BHC to be able to show it locally. That deal happened when they learned that a Venezuelan is a participant of the show.

Even back then, a lot of offers where sent her way. Model, artist, and a lot more. She turned everything down. When Fantastic TV   was aired, her offers doubled up.

Because of the game show and Gareth McGuirre, even her students call her “goddess”. Her coworkers started teasing her of Marshall. They kept asking if they really had a relationship or if he is already her novio.

Tonight episode Six is going to be aired. There’s no chance at all that Brenna would cut the scene from the Tower so she decided not to watch it. She didn’t want to see Marshall ignore her love for him once again.

But at nine P.M Romina found herself in front of the TV.  In that episode she learned why Marshall took the task instead of their Gallard, their leader. Gallard was ready but paled when he saw the snake pit. The poor guy has an ophidiophobia or phobia of snakes.

But the Team Centaur was already there and backing out would waste their time and would have the last standing in all the groups of Fantastic.  That’s why Marshall decided to go.

She wanted to turn off the screen but couldn’t bear to do it. This will be the last time she will see the man. The last part was shown, Marshall turning his back on her and a close-up shot of her face.

Dios mio!” Romina exclaimed. The her in that screen looks like a woman in the brink of tears. I wonder what Marshall is thinking at this moment watching this? Did his ego sky rocketed because the whole world just learned her feelings or did he just ignore it?

Her phone rang. It’s was her mother on the other end.

Usted lo ama.” Her mother said.

“It’s nothing, Mama. I’ve recovered already.” She answered.

Es usted seguro?

“I need to get over him. You saw-”

“Did I raise you a perdidosa? I taught you to fight back. To never lose hope. You don’t give up that kind of love. You should fight for a man like that.”

“He is so far away-”

“I will buy your plane ticket, go Philippines. If you like I will accompany you myself. We will make that man your husband!”

Her mother really is weird in her own ways. But she knew even if she flies half around the word to see Marshall, the man can’t still love her.

“We’ll talk later Mama. I still have an early class tomorrow.” Romina said and quickly cut the line.

Putting it down, it rang again and again, and again. Sighing, she really has to convince her mother hard. Romina answered her phone.

“Mama. You really don’t have to worry. I-”

“Ahm excuse me, Is Romina there?” A different voice echoed to her ears. A woman.

Si, I mean, yes. Who is this?”

“Romina?”

“Yes?” The voice was familiar

“It’s me Caitlin!”

“Caitlin! Como esta?

“Good. And if you ask the ratings of Fantastic TV in the US, it keeps getting higher. It might be possible to get the first spot on next weeks’ episode.”

“Congratulations’”

“Yea, Brenna is so happy. But that’s not why I called you. Do you still remember in the contract that you signed? That if are offered a job because of the exposure you had on FTV, our agency would handle it? Well, as your agent, there are a lot of companies who wants you Romina. They fell in love with you, did you know you are already known here in US.  Your face is already in front page. They are calling you the ‘Fantastic Goddess.’”

Romina couldn’t help but laugh.

“Caitlin I already have a job.”

“You will profit greatly from this. It’s not bad to have an extra. Everybody needs money.”

“Caitlin I’m sorry.”

“Nonsense! Listen to me first okay? With this amount of offers we have you get to choose what you want.”

“If that is Playboy magazine, I’m already telling you no.”

“Oh it’s not actually just Playboy, we also got three more offers from men’s magazine but knowing you, I didn’t mind them. But the other offers, you would like it. The money you could earn in a single job would match your monthly salary teaching.”

Romina just let Caitlin talk and talk. She had already decided to decline whatever job she offers. In this time of her life what she wants is just to forget Fantastic TV and anything that is related to Marshall Romero.


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Disclaimer

Arielle the  author, holds the exclusive rights to this work. I do not own anything. This is a fan translation and is absolutely for free.I do not make profit off of this.  This blogs are for my personal use and enjoyment only and absolutely not for commercial use. Please do notsteal this translation or try to make profit off of it. If this work is officially licensed in English, all distribution of this work must cease. Lastly, please support the writer by obtaining a copy of the original work if possible.

Thanks! Salamat!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Itsmine says:

    ohh really gr8!!

    Like

    1. vhimael says:

      Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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