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Serenade by Claire Du
What would you tell your 15 year-old self if you come face-to-face with your boy band crush, 10 years later?
Elise Rodriguez is a 25year-old corporate junkie who has everything she could ask for except for a boyfriend. So when her best friend dares her to join a dating website, she decides she should do at least one thing she will regret when she turns 30. No one meets her expectations better than handsome surgeon Julian, who becomes her boyfriend. To celebrate her 365th day with him, Elise flies to the Queen City of the South for some couple time and, yes, canoodling. But she finds out her perfect boyfriend isn’t so perfect after all.
Enters boy band has-been Connor Ortiz—snobbish, easy going, and hot. Connor challenged Elise to see the world in a different angle. Set in Cebu, Elise and Connor takes us to amazing tourist spot destinations.
“What are we gonna do?”
“Whale shark watching,” Connor replied, his eyes twinkling as if I asked a silly question.
I was surprised that he chose this place to visit first. People usually see me as someone who’d enjoy shopping (which I do) over exploring nature. I’ve never seen a whale shark my whole life. I felt like a little kid giddy with excitement. Unintentionally, I giggled.
Connor heard it and he looked at me, with this curious look in his eyes and did that half smile that made his exposure on posters a few hundred times more than his band mates. I was proof that people were in favor of him. He’s always on the zoom lens at concerts. I couldn’t wait to tell Lydia that Connor Ortiz had been my tour guide in Cebu!
He looked nicer when he smiles. From the first time I met him, I had the feeling that he was limiting himself with the emotions he was showing people.
As we sailed to the part of the sea where I can no longer see any piece of land, I started to feel jittery. Looking down the deep parts of the water, I tried to gulp down my fear.
“You okay?” Connor asked as everyone was getting ready to jump off.
“This happens every time, before going into the water, I usually have this fear of not being able to come up but once I’m down there and get the hang of it, I’ll be fine,” I replied while holding on the railings of the small boat.
“I’ll be watching you, so don’t worry and take your time,” he handed me my goggles.
I gave him a grateful smile.
“I think you have to leave your camera up here,” he said while removing his shirt. My, oh my, I was silently saying a silent apology to Julian but whoa. Connor’s muscled body looked good in a shirt. But without it? Damn, I hated his guts but I cannot take away the fact that he really is hotter than the sun at high noon.
“Too bad, I really want to take pictures. Of the—of the sea animals!” I said looking at his abs.
“Why do you take pictures of everything?” he suddenly asked.
For a second, it distracted me from him. I contemplated my answer.
“Wouldn’t you? Want to preserve that special moment, forever, I mean? I know memories are non-perishable but inspiring others or making others happy through a moment you’ve captured and sharing it to them, I feel good about it,” I replied and he nodded.
“Well, think of this as a preview—a for-your-eyes-only moment,” he said. I think I can do that.
“Ready?” Connor asked while he was adjusting his goggles. “Yeah, I think I am.” I replied.
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