joross gamboa prince stefan and cj reyes play paul red and ivan

“I love you. Thank you.” Original Script – Part 3 [end]

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Read Time:31 Minute, 28 Second
  1. INT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. MEI’S OFFICE. HO CHI MINH, VIETNAM.

MEI is browsing through the photos of the last photoshoot. PAUL is arranging the handpainted wedding invitations.

MEI
Your photos are lovely, Paul! They’re quiet raw but I’m impressed.

PAUL
I just got lucky that the couple knew how to pose.

MEI
You are a natural photographer. You have a huge potential. See this? You got your subjects’ emotions without even trying too hard.

PAUL is doubtful.

MEI
How can you make people believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself?

PAUL
I am afraid.

MEI
Afraid of what?

PAUL
Afraid that I might fail you or others who expect much from me.

MEI
It’s a big jungle out there, Paul. You don’t owe people your worth. In the same way, you don’t expect people to like or hate you all the time.

PAUL
The truth is I am not used to being complimented.

MEI
Just own it! Embrace what you can and can’t do! That’s how you start growing.

PAUL sighs heavily.

MEI
I have a friend in Bangkok who is a popular photographer. His photos have been published in magazines here and abroad. He can help you develop your talent. You can assist him for now. The salary may be not much but it will help you learn a lot.

PAUL
I am not sure I can do it.

MEI
Of course you can! Believe you can! Come on, stop that pity party, it’s not cute anymore!

PAUL nods.

MEI
Good! I’ll tell him about you.

CUT TO:

Paul is trying to move on in Vietnam.
  1. EXT. DAY. LATER. PARK. HO CHI MINH.

PAUL is contemplating. He takes pictures of the view then looks at it. He is pleased with what he is seeing.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. RIVER. THAILAND.

TANG and his GRANDFATHER are having a picnic at the riverside. He is feeding his grandfather. They are a picture of a happy family.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. MEI’S OFFICE. VIETNAM.

PAUL and MEI are saying their goodbyes.

MEI
You are going directly to Bangkok?

PAUL
No. I’ll visit my favorite place first.

MEI
Angkor Wat.

PAUL
Yes.

MEI
I will miss you around here.

PAUL
Then you should’nt have referred me to your friend!

PAUL laughs.

MEI
No. You will be a better photographer with him.

PAUL
I will miss you too, Mei. Thank you so much. I don’t know what I did to you but you’ve been very good and helpful to me.

MEI
You’ll go places, I know. Just believe in yourself, okay? Just believe.

PAUL
I will always remember you telling me that everytime I feel like going back to being my old self again.

MEI
It’s not going to be a smooth road but you’ll stay there if you are firm about it.

PAUL
Thank you. Thank you very much.

They hug each other.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. NIGHT. LATER. BUS.

PAUL is smiling. He is more at peace with himself.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. ANGKOR WAT. SIEM REAP. CAMBODIA.

TANG is standing at the stonewall again, talking silently to it. Then he inserts another letter.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. ANGKOR WAT. SIEM REAP. CAMBODIA.

PAUL is standing at his usual favorite spot at the temple. TANG is walking around then he sees PAUL.

TANG
Paul!

PAUL looks at TANG. They look at each other as if the world stopped its motion.

CUT TO:

Chance meeting at Angkor Wat… again.
  1. EXT. DAY. LATER. ANGKOR WAT. SIEM REAP. CAMBODIA.

PAUL and TANG are exploring another part of the temple.

PAUL
What do you do now?

TANG
I write translations for a small manga publishing house.

PAUL
No more porn?

TANG
Sometimes. I still write porn part-time. I know I need to start living my dream before it’s too late.

PAUL
That’s good to hear. Do you still feel like you’re a stranger here?

TANG
Sometimes. But I usually visit here twice a week, trying to write. The lake is my favorite place.

PAUL
They say strangers meet twice in their lifetime.

TANG
We will meet again, right?

PAUL nods, smiling.

TANG
Can we take a picture together?

PAUL obliges. They take turns taking pictures of each other and a very cute selfie.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. CONTINUOUS. ANGKOR WAT. SIEM REAP. CAMBODIA.

TANG
Tell me a secret.

PAUL
I am Batman.

TANG
I am Naruto! Well, I must say books are boring. I prefer manga.

PAUL
I’m neither a bookworm but I found this book in the train. I think it was left there by a tourist. I took it and out of boredom, I started reading it. It became my favorite! It’s called “One Hundred Years of Solitude”.

TANG doesn’t react.

PAUL
It’s written by a Colombian author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Well, he’s dead now. It’s about the fate of a family in a span of 100 years. If you want to be a good writer, read some literature

TANG
I want to live for 100 years.

PAUL
I want to die while I’m still young.

TANG
By accident or disease?

PAUL
While sleeping. So my soul can just wander in space after.

TANG
I want to go to space.

PAUL
And eat doughnuts and drink hot choco there. I wonder if tom yum is spicier there.

TANG
I think it tastes the same.

They reach the lakeside.

PAUL
Teach me how to write a Thai character?

TANG writes a character in the wind.

PAUL
What’s that?

TANG
Ho tsai. Heart.

PAUL tries to write it in the wind. TANG holds his hand to help him out. PAUL likes the feel of it.

CUT TO:

It means “beautiful sunset”.
  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. KHAO SAN ROAD. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

PAUL is walking in the middle of Khao San Road amidst the sea of tourists. He takes pictures of the streetlife. He is using a DSLR camera now.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. LATER. CHAO PHRAYA RIVER FERRY. BANGKOK.

PAUL and TANG are inside the ferry that traverses the Chao Phraya River.

TANG
Thank you for seeing me.

PAUL
How many guys have you rode here with?

TANG
I lost count.

PAUL flashes a mocking smile.

TANG
I just dated them. Not everyone I dated became my boyfriend.

PAUL
You are a serial dater.

TANG
I am trying to search for the perfect someone.

PAUL
What happens when you’re dating?

TANG
You go out, get to know each other—

PAUL
There’s sex after?

TANG
I don’t fuck on the first date.

PAUL
So we did not “date” in Siem Reap.

TANG
No. Yes?

PAUL
So how are you different from a promiscuous guy? When you go on dates, you’ll always end up having sex anyway. Why prolong the agony?

TANG
You confuse sex, love and relationship.

PAUL
You confuse dating as a start of a great relationship.

TANG
You get to know the person first.

PAUL
Superficially yes. Both of you would always put your best foot forward because you’ll make sure you look good until something terrible happens and boom! You get turned off.

TANG
Getting to know someone is a lifelong process.

PAUL
In the process, someone gets rejected.

TANG
You haven’t dated.

PAUL
Nobody asked me.

TANG
You’d love to date if given the chance.

PAUL
Trying to impress a guy is not one of my virtues.

TANG
Then just be yourself.

PAUL
I always do. That’s why I get rejected even before I even get asked on a date.

TANG
You are fond of putting yourself down.

PAUL
It’s the truth.

TANG
I see you differently.

PAUL
Don’t make me blush. I’m not good at it.

PAUL takes a picture of the landscape. TANG takes PAUL’s hand and writes a Thai character in the air. It says “I love you”.

PAUL
What was that?

TANG
It means “beautiful sunset”.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. HOTEL LOBBY, BANGKOK.

PAUL is talking to the receptionist. He carries his camera with him.

PAUL
Where is the SMITH-TANAPHIKUL wedding?

RECEPTIONIST
At the suite, it’s on the 40th floor.

PAUL
Thank you.

He sees someone familiar in the lobby of the hotel. He is a hotel staff talking to colleague. He calls the guy.

PAUL
Ivan—

IVAN doesn’t know how to react.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. LATER. PARK. BANGKOK.

PAUL and IVAN are facing each other.

PAUL
Mukhang ang saya-saya mo.

IVAN nods, his face lights up, flashes a genuine smile.

IVAN
Sobra.

PAUL
Saan ka nagpunta?

IVAN
Europe. Kung saan-saan. Naghanap kung saan may lugar para sa sarili ko.

PAUL
Pangarap mo nga noon pa na libutin ang buong mundo.

IVAN
In 50 days.

PAUL
True, in 50 days. Eto na, nagawa mo na nga. Higit pa nga di ba?

They both laugh.

PAUL
Di naman imposible sayo ‘yun, mayaman naman kayo. Haciendero ka kaya.

IVAN
Lupain ng tatay ko ‘yun. Tsaka ilan naman kaming maghahati-hati dun.

PAUL
Kahit na. Katiting ng kayamanan mo, di ko man lang maabot.

PAUL laughs.

IVAN
Nung grade 3 tayo, inakyat natin ‘yung puno ng ipil-ipil sa likod ng school at pinag-awayan pa natin kung saan ‘yung dulo ng earth. Dun ko kasi balak tapusin ang 50-days-around-the-world dream ko.

PAUL
Sabi ko, siyempre Pluto ‘yung dulo ng earth. Ayaw mo maniwala, sinuntok moko tapos umiyak ka pa. ‘Yung iyak na hagulhol ha! Kainis.

They both laugh then silence. A group of tourists pass by them. They start to walk.

PAUL
Van, anong nagbago? Bakit di ka man lang nagsabi na aalis ka?

IVAN
I got bored with my perfect life.

PAUL breathes heavily.

IVAN (cot’d)
Or so it seemed. I was so empty, Paul. Provided nga lahat ng mga gusto kopero pini-pressure naman ng pamilya na maging achiever. Kaya nga ako pumunta ng Bangkok di ba dahil gusto kong patunayan na may magagawa ako sa buhay ko kahit wala sila. May karelasyon nga ako pero laging may pressure to always return the love na para bang isang pabor na mahalin ka.

PAUL
Bakit ganyan ka? Bakit ganun lang kadali para sayo na itapon ang mga bagay at pagmamahal na hinahangad ng iba na sana sa kanila na lang?

IVAN
Mahal na mahal mo talaga si Red ‘no?

PAUL looks away.

IVAN (cot’d)
Kadalasan, iniisip ko na sana ikaw na lang ang minahal niya imbes na ako.

PAUL
Hindi ko pinangarap ko na mahalin niya ako.

CUT TO:

Sana ikaw na lang ang minahal ni Red.
  1. EXT. DAY. CONTINUOUS. PARK. BANGKOK.

They are now in another part of the park.

IVAN
Hanggang ngayon, naiinggit pa rin ako sayo, Paul. Simula nung bata pa tayo, you’ve always been free-spirited, stubborn, always craving for freedom at walang pakialam basta’t ginagawa ang lahat ng gusto mong gawin sa buhay.

PAUL
Di ko pa rin alam kung ano ang gusto kong gawin sa buhay ko eh. Lagi na lang akong gala, lito, lost… Tingnan mo nga ang pagkakaiba natin oh! Napaka-successful mo pa rin, ansaya-saya mo na sa buhay, lagi mong nakukuha ang gusto mo—

IVAN
That’s why I’ve always wanted to be you, Paul. Lagi mong hinahayaan ang sarili mo na magkamali, masaktan, madapa, maiwan. Pinangarap ko ‘yun. Buong buhay ko, I’ve been sheltered and protected and loved na isa na siyang one, boring perfection!

PAUL
Tangina. Lagi na lang tayong naghahangad ng mga bagay di natin nakukuha! (beat) Bakit ka bumalik?

IVAN
May nakilala ako sa Venice, babae, matanda na. Siguro mga nasa 50s. Pero backpacker siya, halos nalibot na niya ang buong mundo. Wala siyang permanenteng trabaho. Paano niya na binubuhay ang sarili niya? Street performance! Kung anuman ang makukuha niyang pera dun, pinagkakasya niya pero ang saya-saya niya. Wala siyang hang-ups sa buhay, walang bagahe. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, sana maging ganito din ako kasaya. Alam mo anong tumatak sakin na sinabi niya? “Just be, Ivan. You can never go wrong by choosing to be happy.”

IVAN smiles.

PAUL
Matagal ka nang hinahanap ni Red.

IVAN
Haharapin ko siya kapag handa na ako.

PAUL
Ibigay mo na ang closure na matagal na niyang hinihintay sayo.

IVAN
Sa pagdating ng panahon na ‘yun Paul, sana makita na niya ang worth mo. I wouldn’t want someone to end up with Red but you. Dahil alam ko, mamahalin at iki-keep mo siya. Bagay na hindi ko nagawa.

PAUL
Nag-iba na rin buhay ko, Van.

PAUL looks away.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. HUALAMPONG TRAIN STATION. THAILAND.

TANG is waiting outside the train station. PAUL arrives, hurrying.

TANG
You’re late.

PAUL
Get used to it.

They enter the station.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. LATER. GRANDPA’S HOUSE. THAILAND.

TANG’s grandfather is throwing tantrums. TANG is lulling him until he calms down.

TANG
My Grandma went missing when my father was still 2 years old. Grandpa never lost his hope that one day, she’ll be found. So I took the responsibility of searching for her.

PAUL
Where are your parents?

TANG
They died in a car accident when I was ten years old. So my Grandpa took care of me.

PAUL
Your love for your grandpa is amazing.

TANG
I love him more than my life.

PAUL
I wish my family is like that.

TANG
What’s with your family?

PAUL
My parents are separated. They fight whenever they see each other. My mother always needs to be assured and comforted all the time. My siblings and I are dysfunctional, we don’t talk that much.

TANG
How can you love other people if you cannot love your family first?

GRANDPA starts to throw tantrums again and TANG has to pacify him again.

GRANDPA
Sonta… Sonta…

CUT TO:

  1. INT. NIGHT. ANOTHER DAY. THE STRANGER BAR. BANGKOK THAILAND.

RED is back to bartending. DARREN is on the side of the bar, not seated in his usual spot. He is flirting with other guys.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. AYUTTHAYA, THAILAND.

PAUL and TANG are riding an elephant.

TANG
Coffee or tea?

PAUL
Coffee. Abstinence or writer’s block?

TANG
Writer’s block. Jeans or slacks?

PAUL
Jeans. Geek or punk?

TANG
Punk. Mall or theme park?

PAUL
Theme park. Narcolepsy or insomnia?

TANG
Insomnia. Lollipop or gummy bear?

PAUL
Lollipop. Eyes or lips?

TANG
Eyes. Smart or wise?

PAUL
Wise. Fine dining or fastfood?

TANG
Fastfood. French fries or hash browns?

PAUL
French fries. Slash wrist or hanging?

TANG
Hanging. Ice cream or cake?

PAUL
Cake. Or both?

PAUL laughs as he takes pictures of themselves.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. NIGHT. LATER. DARREN’S ROOM. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

RED and DARREN are having wild sex. They even do drugs. Then they rest in bed after.

RED
Any thoughts?

DARREN
Great fuck.

RED
I mean, about taking this to another level.

DARREN
Take it easy, bud. We’re not changing the rules of our game, are we?

RED
As you say.

RED cuddles him until he falls asleep.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. SAME DAY. LAKESIDE, AYUTTHAYA, THAILAND.

PAUL and TANG are drinking. They are peeling their beer bottle’s labels, both unaware of it. TANG is teaching PAUL how to write Thai characters in the air. They are mostly goofing around.

TANG takes out a letter from his bag (the letter that he wrote after they had sex in Seq. 45). He gives it to PAUL. He reads it, in disbelief. PAUL is out of words.

TANG
I love you, Paul.

PAUL
Why love someone like me? I’m a total mess.

TANG
A beautiful mess.

PAUL
I don’t deserve your love, TANG. I don’t think I’m someone anybody can love.

TANG
Yes, you are confused. You laugh so easily. You are handsome and does not know it! You are awkward. You say the most unusual things. You don’t love yourself. What isn’t there to love about you?

PAUL doesn’t know what to answer.

PAUL
Relationships scare me. You know that I don’t do these things.

TANG
Just give me the chance to love you.

PAUL is uncomfortable. He stands up and walks away but TANG goes after him.

TANG
I love you. Even if you give me a thousand and one reasons not to.

PAUL
I’m don’t like it when somebody loves me more than I can love him.

TANG
Just let me do the loving for you. Please—

PAUL turns his back and walks back towards TANG. He nods and smiles.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. THE STRANGER BAR. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

RED is cleaning the bar before they open. IVAN shows up. RED is surprised to see him there.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. LATER. PARK. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

RED and IVAN are sitting at their usual spot in the park. It is almost sunset.

RED
Mahigit isang taon… Memoryado ko na nga ang mga dapat kong sabihin eh, pero iba pala kapag nandito ka na sa harap ko. Mas nangingibabaw ngayon ang galit na akala ko nalampasan ko na.

IVAN
Naiintindihan ko ang galit mo and I take responsibility for that. Kaya siguro natagalan ako na humugot ng lakas ng loob para harapin ka. At para sa lahat ng ginawa ko Red, patawad.

RED clenches his fist. He is trying to control his tears but they start falling. RED’s voice is full of anger in his voice.

RED
Bakit ka umalis?

IVAN
Dahil alam kong hindi mo ibibigay sa akin ang kalayaan ko.

RED
Sagutin mo ang tanong ko kung bakit ka umalis!

IVAN starts to cry.

IVAN
Dahil hindi ako buo! Araw-araw na kasama kita, nakakaramdam ako ng lumalaking espasyo. A deep void and emptiness na hinahanapan kong mapunuan.

RED
Hindi ba sapat ang mga binigay ko sayo? Ang mga ginagawa ko para mapasaya ka? Wala akong ibang alam kundi magmahal lang, at ‘yun ang inalay ko ng buong-buo sayo. Minahal kita, Van. Sobrang mahal na mahal!

IVAN
‘Yun na nga eh! Sobrang mahal! Sobra-sobra na hindi mo na ako tinirahan ng pagmamahal para sa sarili ko! Nilunod mo ako sa sobrang pagmamahal na hindi ko na kilala ang sarili ko. Ni katiting na pag-ibig wala na akong kayang ibigay dahil sinakop ako ng sobrang pagmamahal mo.

RED
Hindi mo man lang ako binigyan ng pagkakataon na baguhin ang mga kalabisan ko. Selfish ka!

IVAN
Alam mo kung ano ang selfish? Holding on.

RED
Tama ka, unti-unti akong namamatay noong iniwan mo ako. Ibinabaon ng dahan-dahan at masakit na kamatayan sa tuwing iniisip ko ang ating could’ve beens. Namamatay ako sa tuwing iniisip ko ang mga what ifs.

IVAN
Set me free, Red. And by the doing so, you have loved me better.

RED
Matagal ko nang natutunan na pakawalan ka, Van. Ngayong ibinigay mo na ang closure na matagal ko nang hinintay, masaya na akong malaman na mas nagmahal ako at hinding-hindi ko pinagsisihan yun.

IVAN
Salamat sa mga alaala. Hinigitan nito ang ating pag-ibig at masaya na akong makakapag-move on sa katotohanang iyon.

RED extends his hand but IVAN hugs him tightly. RED hugs him tightly then gently kisses him on the head. IVAN walks away as RED stands there to witness the sunset.

FADE OUT/IN:

TITLECARD: THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

FADE OUT/IN:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. RIVERSIDE. AYUTTHAYA.

TANG is writing a letter.

TANG
Dear Paul—

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. BTS. BANGKOK.

PAUL is in the midst of a sea of people beating the afternoon rush at the BTS. He dresses differently now, holding a camera bag.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. CHAO PHRAYA RIVER. BANGKOK.

RED is alone at the ferry, appreciating the view. He is taking videos of it.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. NIGHT. ANOTHER DAY. PAUL’S ROOM. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

TANG is preparing a lovely dinner, dancing to a nice Thai song. PAUL arrives, carrying a bunch of photography paraphernalia and accessories.

TANG
Happy 6th monthsary!

PAUL
Happy 6th!

They kiss and hug each other. TANG prepares the dinner that he just cooked.

PAUL
Which manga did you translate today?

TANG
Chapter 43 of Daisy.

PAUL
This is the part where Akiro lost his power?

TANG
Yes, stolen by Hamuka.

PAUL
Finish it already. I’m excited to read how it ends.

TANG (in Thai)
I’m hurrying.

TANG laughs.

PAUL
Ano na naman ‘yang pinagsasabi mo?

TANG
Let’s eat. And before that, congratulations!

TANG hands PAUL a magazine. He embraces PAUL from behind while they both flips through the magazine.

TANG
Page 69.

PAUL is ecstatic. TANG gets excited too.

TANG
You’re starting to make it. I’m so proud of you!

PAUL cries a bit of tear of joy.  While they are eating, PAUL gives TANG a watch.

PAUL
So you’ll always remind me not to be late.

TANG is happy, he kisses PAUL again. He hands PAUL two plane tickets.

PAUL
Bangkok-Manila-Bangkok on my birthday?

TANG nods.

TANG
I want you to bring me to the most beautiful places and beaches in your country. Make sure you block the dates! I have already filed my leave of absence.

PAUL sniles They kiss.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. NIGHT. ANOTHER DAY. THE STRANGER BAR. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

RED is bartending.  PAUL and TANG go inside. PAUL sees RED talking to DARREN. They look at each other for a long time. PAUL tries not to be giddy, trying to figure out what he is feeling.

RED (to Paul)
Kelan ka pa bumalik?

PAUL
Six months na. TANG, meet my friend Red. This is TANG, my boyfriend. Ikaw, kelan ka pa nagtrabaho uli dito?

RED gets jealous.

RED
Two weeks ago.

PAUL
Usap tayo pagkatapos ng duty mo?

RED nods. PAUL and TANG settle themselves on a table.  RED looks at them intently as TANG invites PAUL to a dance. RED invites DARREN to dance.

A brewing tension ensues between RED and PAUL. TANG can feel it. RED looks at the couple intently, feeling a pang of pain.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. NIGHT. LATER. STREETFOOD STALL. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

PAUL and RED are eating noodles. PAUL’S phone beeps with a message from TANG: MESSAGE ME WHEN YOU’RE HOME. TAKE CARE. I LOVE YOU.

There’s a long, awkward silence between PAUL and RED.

RED
Nami-miss ka na agad ng boyfriend mo? Ambilis ah!

PAUL
Wala siyang tiwala sayo.

RED
Talaga ha.

PAUL
Umuwi ka ba ng Pinas?

RED
Wala na naman akong pamilyang babalikan doon.

PAUL
So pipirmi ka na talaga rito?

RED does not answer.

PAUL (cot’d)
Ano ang magpapapirmi sa’yo?

RED looks at PAUL for a long. It makes PAUL uncomfortable.

RED
Mukhang masaya ka na.

PAUL nods.

RED
Umaasa ako na “hindi” ang isasagot mo.

PAUL
Natututunan naman pala ang maging masaya kung handa lang tayong pakawalan ang mga bagay na hirap tayong bitawan.

RED
Sabi mo hihintayin mo ako.

PAUL
Sabi mo hindi na kita dadatnan.

RED
Nandito na ako. Handa na ako para sayo.

PAUL
Marami na ang nagbago, Red.

RED
Hindi mo na ako mahal.

PAUL cannot answer.

PAUL
May—

RED
Hindi mo na ako mahal—

PAUL is still finding the right words to say.

RED
Kung anuman ang sasabihin mo, tatanggapin ko. Hindi mo na nga ako mahal—

PAUL
Mahal! Pero may inilalaan na akong pagmamahal sa iba. Maaaring mahal pa nga kita pero hindi sa antas na gusto at inaasahan mo.

RED
Pinaniwala mo lang pala ako na ako lang ang kailangan mo.

PAUL
Pinunan ni TANG ang bawat pagkakataon na hindi mo ako kayang mahalin.

RED
Nung sinabi mo sa akin na hihintayin mo ako, did you even mean it?

PAUL nods.

PAUL
Matagal na panahon akong umasa sayo.

RED
Nangako ka! Hindi pala totoong mahal mo ako.

PAUL
Siguro nga. Let’s just pretend like it never happened: Me loving you and you hating me for it.

PAUL is about to leave. RED holds PAUL’S hands.

RED
Huwag kang umalis, Paul! Magsimula tayo uli. Simulan natin ang tayo. Walang Ivan, walang TANG.  

PAUL cannot give an answer.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. PAUL’S PLACE. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

PAUL is sleeping on TANG’S lap. He is playing with PAUL’S hair. He continues writing the letter that he started in SEQ. 110.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. ASIATIQUE. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

We can see the ferris wheel at the background. PAUL is looking at pictures of him and RED. TANG arrives, smiling at him. PAUL quickly wipes his tears.

PAUL
You’re late!

TANG laughs at the irony.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. CONTINUOUS. ASIATIQUE. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

Amidst the noise and crowd, PAUL is absent-minded. He sees TANG like a slow-moving image, a happy being who loves him so much. All that PAUL hears is TANG saying “I LOVE YOU”.

TANG is from afar, he sees that PAUL is not himself. He begins to worry PAUL’S thoughts are interrupted by TANG who’s standing in front of him, holding his milk tea.

TANG
Still in the mood for a movie?

PAUL
Sure!

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. PAUL’S PLACE. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

PAUL is on the phone talking to someone. He is carrying his photography paraphernalia.

RED is waiting outside PAUL’S unit. He is holding balloons and flowers. He flashes a smile at PAUL who is not so pleased to see him.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. PAUL’S APARTMENT, THAILAND.

PAUL is preparing the food. RED turns on his ipod and blasts the speakers on. RED sees the bonsai that he gave to IVAN before but he does not react to it. He takes out a stash of marijuana and sniffs it.

RED
Memories, memories…

PAUL
Doon ka nga sa labas. Mangangamoy ‘yan dito!

RED shushes him. He offers the drugs to PAUL.

RED
Konti lang.

PAUL refuses it.

RED
Gusto mo, share uli tayo dito? Para makatipid, sayang ang mahal ng renta.

PAUL
Malabo, Red. Laging pumupunta si TANG dito.

RED
Wala naman tayong ginagawang masama di ba?

RED’S high kicks in.

RED
At least sa ngayon, wala pa…

He embraces PAUL and starts to seduce him. PAUL’s phone rings several times, TANG is calling him but he doesn’t answer it.

RED
Wag mo nang sagutin.

RED initiates a kiss. PAUL initially refuses but RED is insistent. PAUL gives in and kisses back. The sound from the speaker seems to sound louder and louder. There’s a knock on the door. PAUL lets go.

PAUL has a hard time composing himself back as he opens the door. It is TANG. PAUL closes the door and pulls TANG away from the house.

They walk in the streets. TANG’S phone rings. His cousin is calling telling him that his grandfather just died. TANG cries uncontrollably. From afar, RED is looking at them.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. TEMPLE. THAILAND.

Funeral services for TANG’s Grandpa in a Buddhist temple.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY.  ANOTHER DAY. GRANDPA’S HOUSE. THAILAND.

TANG is scanning through his grandfather’s things. He discovers a small box with lots of letters in it. He reads them, surprised by what he is reading.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. RIVERSIDE. THAILAND.

TANG is sitting at the riverside, holding a letter. PAUL is with him.  

PAUL
It’s never the same without your Grandpa, isn’t it? I already got used to his cries and laughter and his whining.

PAUL laughs nervously. TANG doesn’t answer. He instead reads the letter as PAUL sits beside him.

TANG (in English)
This is the letter my Grandma wrote to my Grandpa before she left him.
(In Thai) Dear Wai, I am writing you this letter because I am a coward. I don’t know how painful solitude is but I will search for it. Whether I’ll find it or not, I will be at peace because I know I tried. I don’t want to leave you with answers. And please do not bother yourself with questions. It is not and will never be your fault. You have loved me unconditionally, so much that I can’t ask for a love that’s more than that. Here’s to hoping you will find someone. Someone who can love you more than I can.
(in English) She wasn’t missing. She left. And Grandpa held on to the hope that she’ll come back. He had that hope with him until he died.

PAUL holds TANG’S hand. TANG lays his head on PAUL’s shoulder, crying.

PAUL
Can you imagine what could’ve been if she didn’t leave?

TANG
She seemed happy when she left. I think I will just leave it at that.

TANG kisses PAUL on the cheek.

TANG
I love you.

PAUL stares at the serene temple in front of them. He flashes a half-smile, leans his head on TANG’s shoulder.

PAUL (whisper)
Thank you.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. LAKESIDE. AYUTTHAYA. THAILAND.

TANG writes a letter to PAUL. The one in Seq. 110.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. NIGHT. ANOTHER DAY. PAUL’S ROOM. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

PAUL is shivering. He covers himself with a blanket. There’s a knock on the door. It is RED, carrying fruits and flowers.

RED
Sorry sa ginawa ko.

PAUL is too sick to respond. He falls on the floor before he can answer. RED panics, he brings PAUL to his bed.

PAUL
Si TANG…

RED
Sshhh…

RED tends to PAUL. He cooks for him, feeds him but PAUL refuses. RED instead cuddles PAUL until he stabilizes and falls asleep. He spends the whole night watching RED sleep. He lies down beside him, kisses his face with all his love.

RED
Sana noon pa, Paul. Sana ikaw na lang.

A tear falls from his eye. He holds PAUL’S hand until he too, falls asleep.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. THE DAY AFTER. PAUL’S PLACE. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

RED is preparing lunch. PAUL comes out of the shower. He starts to dresss up.

RED
Nandiyan ‘yung gamot mo sa mesa ha, inumin mo na. Baka bumalik pa ang lagnat ko.

PAUL
Magaling na ako, salamat.

RED
Sa susunod kasi, wag mo nang kalimutan magdala ng payong para di maulanan. Tsaka wag kang masyadong nagpupuyat.

PAUL
Opo tatay!

RED
Tatay ka diyan.

PAUL
Salamat sa pagpunta kagabi. Kung di ka napadaan, ewan ko na lang kung ano na ang mangyayari sa akin. Nasa probinsiya pa kasi si TANG—

RED
Wag na nating pag-usapan ang pabaya mong boyfriend.

PAUL
Namatay ang lolo ni TANG kaya siya andoon, ok.

RED is done preparing the table. They eat together.

RED
Ipagluluto kita araw-araw, Paul. Alam kong miss na miss mo ‘tong adobo ko.

PAUL
Paulit-ulit na naman ba tayo sa ganito, Red?

RED
Hindi ako basta-basta susuko, Paul. Alam nating dalawa na mahal mo pa rin ako.

PAUL
Red, maging masaya na lang tayo na dito na lang tayo—

The doorknob sounds as TANG opens the door.

PAUL
You’re early!

PAUL hugs TANG tightly. They kiss. RED is looking, more hurt than ever.

TANG
Are you doing okay now?

PAUL
Not really but I’m trying.

TANG changes his mood when seeing RED.

PAUL
Red came here when I was sick last night.

RED
Because you were not there to take care of him.

PAUL
Red, itigil mo yan.

TANG
I was mourning for my grandfather.

They all sit together in one table. There’s a hostile air between RED and TANG. PAUL prepares TANG’S utensils for him. They try to continue eating but it is too awkward.

TANG
I guess you don’t have a family so you don’t know how it feels.

PAUL
TANG, please—

RED
Did you know that Paul used to love me?

TANG
Yes I know that. He told me everything.

PAUL
Red tigilan mo na ‘to.

TANG
You didn’t even care about how he feels before.

RED
He said he still loves me.

TANG looks at PAUL who in turn looks away.

TANG
But he’s with me now and he stays with me.

PAUL
Stop this! You’re both treating me like a toy that you can control when you wish to!

RED
Mamili ka sa amin, Paul. Him or me!

TANG
It’s true, you are a one selfish bastard!

RED
You are afraid because you know he loves me more than he loves you!

TANG
I am not afraid that he won’t choose me. I am afraid that he’ll end up with someone like you.

RED cannot control his anger. He grabs TANG and starts a brawl. It is a messy fight, PAUL is having a hard time going between them. When they are finally tired, they all find one another sulking in different corners of the room, catching their breathe.

There is an awkward silence as TANG and RED are waiting for PAUL to choose a side. PAUL looks at RED intently as he goes to TANG’S side. RED is angry. He runs out of the room. PAUL is about to run after him but TANG holds his hand. PAUL decides to run after RED anyway. TANG runs after PAUL.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. CONTINUOUS. STREET/CHAO PHRAYA RIVERSIDE. BANGKOK.

PAUL runs after RED.

PAUL
Red!

TANG runs after PAUL.

TANG
Paul!

They reach the riverside of Chao Phraya River. They reach a crossroad where PAUL catches up with RED.

RED
Siya ang pinili mo. Tatanggapin ko ‘yun kahit masakit.

PAUL
Ni minsan, hindi ko man lang narinig sa ‘yo ang mga salitang “Mahal kita”.

RED realizes he is in a dire situation. He is trying to find the words but it is so hard for him to say it.

PAUL
Paalam, Red.

RED watches PAUL walks away. He is crying and full of regrets. TANG is standing from afar watching them.

RED leaves and hails a cab.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. CONTINUOUS. TAXI. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

Red ponders for a while.

RED
Take me to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. CONTINUOUS. CHAO PHRAYA RIVERSIDE. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

TANG is waiting for PAUL at the riverside. PAUL flashes a defeated smile, TANG responds with a pained look. They face the riverside, appreciating the sunset.

TANG
Sunset in Angkor or sunset here?

PAUL
They’re both beautiful. Chao Phraya River or Mekong?

TANG
Chao Phraya. The one chasing or being chased?

PAUL
The one chasing.

They become silent for a while.

PAUL
We’re screwed, you and I, and we’ll conquer spaces.

TANG
I know that you still love him…

PAUL doesn’t answer.

TANG
Do you love me?

PAUL
Yes.

TANG
But you’re always afraid that somebody will love you for real.

PAUL
We all do.

TANG
But you allowed me to fall in love with you.

PAUL
You deserve a better love, TANG. My love is unpredictable, restless, doubtful. My love is causing you pain and I don’t want to hurt you more by staying with me.

TANG
Your love may not be healthy but the pain is all worth it.

PAUL
I don’t think I can ever equal your love. Maybe, there’s someone out there who can love you more than you love him. Someone who is waiting for you to love him.

TANG
Even if you think that someone is not you, I am always willing to love you, Paul.

PAUL
But I don’t know how, without hurting you.

TANG
I am willing to wait.

PAUL
How long will you wait for me?

TANG
Until you’re healed.

PAUL
In time, we will meet again. By then, I will be able to love you the way you should be loved. It’s not an absolute promise but I am sure I will be a better person. For now, let me learn how it is to really love.

TANG
Why is it so easy for you to let me go?

PAUL
Because that’s how much I love you.

TANG gets a letter from his pocket. (The letter he wrote in Seq. 110)

TANG
Read it when I have walked away. This way, you are teaching me how to forget you.

PAUL hesitates. TANG starts to walk away. PAUL opens the letter and reads it. As TANG starts to widen his distance, PAUL looks away, in deep thought.

A ferry passes by. TANG is almost out of sight. After a long thought, he makes up his mind. He turns his head and calls TANG’s name.

PAUL
Tang!

TANG stops walking, he starts to cry. PAUL’s tears start falling as he waits with bated breath while TANG contemplates whether to stay or go. He decides to walk away.

THE END.

CBB.

ALTERNATE ENDING: TANG turns his back to face PAUL. He gives PAUL a loving smile.

tang paul and red in pub street siem reap
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