by Tara Frejas
Genre: Romance / NA / Contemporary
Release Date: February 21, 2017
SynopsisAt twenty-three, theatre actress Erin Javier has yet to fall in love or kiss a boy offstage, away from the klieg lights. She is the perfect leading lady—whose heart men would fight for, win, and protect—unfortunately, only until the curtains fall and the lights go down. In real life, Erin is a certified NBSB whose heart has been hoping for a song to dance to for quite some time.
But when two (two!) men enter from stage left and right, Erin is confused. Who deserves to take center stage in her heart—Mr. Theatre Royalty whose attention and displays of affection make her pulse race, or a good friend whose steady support has helped steer her to success and fulfill her dream?
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ExcerptErin’s first kiss was a guy named Timothy Matias.
She and Timothy—christened Mots by Kai—were both Teatro Lakambini rookies three years ago, and Chronicles of a Breakup was their baptism of fire. Even so, he wasn’t new to kissing.
Thankfully, Mots was considerate. He noticed her apprehension about the stage kiss and offered to fake it instead. But the scene had to be staged in a way that a fake kiss would have been so painfully obvious, and Erin just went “oh what the heck” and decided to go for gold. Mots obliged, and was nice enough to “mentor” her without being all judgey.
“Don’t pucker your lips” was his first tip. “Loosen your jaw” was his second. There were more, and they came in unexpected moments, like when they waited in the wings and he told her to “Press your lips against mine a bit harder before I push you away.”
It was an Act Two breakup kiss, what they shared. Erin’s character was desperate to keep his, but his just wasn’t into hers any longer. As they went through the scene five times a week for eight straight weeks, Erin felt as if her heart wasted away every single time she kissed Mots goodbye.
The feeling stayed with her for weeks after the show had closed that she had to ask him to sit down and talk about it one afternoon.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “Sometimes I look at you and I can’t think straight.”
The look on his face prompted her to clarify. “I’m not in love with you, Mots. It’s just that I’ve been this character for a while and it’s difficult to get her out of my system.”
He got it, he said. They hugged it out, and that was that.
Five months later, she was kissing Andres San Vicente under a dim streetlight in Sa Kanto ng Kaimito at Santol. It was a more innocent kind of kiss, one that would reduce the females in the audience to squeals and giggles. Erin liked their once-a-show kisses better because they were hopeful and held the promise of a blossoming new love. And at the back of her mind, she allowed herself to fantasize over that kind of love too—until Andres brought his boyfriend to the cast party and crushed her dreams.
The distinction of sharing the most number of kisses with Erin goes to Brian Castro and Johann Rivera. Alternating as Erin’s long-distance boyfriends in Minsan Tayo, the average number of kisses she received per show was twenty, not including the ones that didn’t land on her lips. But even if Brian and Johann played the same character, their kisses were completely different.
Brian’s was playful and tentative half the time and tasted like Tic Tac. Johann’s was more intense and tended to linger a little more. They didn’t taste like anything remarkable, but Erin recalled the one time his lips tasted like ginger tea.
By the time she got to act alongside Nathan Zalameda for Karaoke Queen, the tables were turned: He was the novice, and she was the pro. Recalling every relevant moment in her kissing resume, Erin taught Nathan everything he needed to know.
And he was a fast learner. So fast, Erin actually found herself feeling flustered more than once.
Thinking about all those kisses made Erin feel a little dizzy. There were okay kisses, and there were kisses that, whether she liked to admit or not, completely rocked her world.
Is anyone going to measure up? she wondered. More importantly, is there anyone out there willing to?
About the AuthorTara Frejas is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. When she's not on work mode, she keeps herself busy by weaving her daydreams into stories.
Aside from her obvious love affair with words and persistent muses, this full-fledged Piscean (who cares what NASA says?) is passionate about being caffeinated, musical theatre, certain genres of music, dance, dogs, good food, and romancing Norae, her ukelele. She owns a male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes.
In another life, she wishes to be a musical theatre actress. Or a director, maybe. But in the meantime, she’ll continue being an avid supporter of the local theatre scene...one show at a time.
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